During an Interview

Eye contact, articulation and professionalism are all very important in an interview. Conducting mock interviews through Interview Stream will help you practice answering typical questions succinctly and professionally.

Typical Interview Questions

Not all employers will ask the same questions, but there are many questions that are standard and will be used in most interviews.

Be prepared to answer the following questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What led you to choose your field or major?
  3. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  4. What do you consider your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
  5. How has your college experience prepared you for your career?
  6. What do you know about our organization?
  7. What important trends do you see in our industry?
  8. Describe a team or group situation in which someone dropped the ball. What did you do to help the team achieve its goals?
  9. Give me an example of a time that you had to resolve a conflict at work or in school.
  10. How do you work with deadlines?
  11. Do you prefer to work individually or in a team? Why?
  12. Tell me about a time that you did not work well with a supervisor. What was the outcome and how would you have changed the outcome?
  13. Have you worked with someone you did not like? If so, how did you handle it?
  14. Why do you want to work for this organization?

Structure Your Answers

It’s important to provide short, clear answers for situational and behavior-based questions to ensure that you don’t ramble or lose the interviewer’s attention.

The STAR method can help you construct a descriptive, organized answer that highlights the most important aspects of the situation or experience. Write down a few examples related to your experience that use the STAR method when you’re preparing for an interview.

Situation
What was the problem? How did it arise? What was your responsibility in solving it?

Task
What did you do to rectify the situation?

Actions
What steps were taken to solve this problem? How were you involved?

Results
What was the outcome? The resolution should always be a positive one.

Top 10 Tips for a Successful Interview

In addition to answering questions professionally and clearly, remember to follow these tips during your interview:

  1. Shake hands firmly with the interviewer(s).
  2. Smile, be professional and be yourself.
  3. Articulate your experiences and skills with enthusiasm.
  4. Listen carefully and don’t interrupt the interviewer.
  5. Pay attention to your nonverbal behavior: Make eye contact, sit up straight and try to control nervous habits.
  6. Give yourself time to answer a question. It is acceptable to pause and take a few seconds to formulate an answer. Do not feel the need to fill every second with conversation.
  7. Quantify the details of your answers whenever possible (i.e. Increased company sales by 15% over 3 months).
  8. Ask questions. The interview is about both you and the employer finding the right fit.
  9. Avoid filler words like “um” and “like."
  10. Briefly discuss and make sure you understand the next steps and request a business card.

Follow up with the employer after your interview to show that you're professional and interested in the position.

Practice Your Interviewing Skills

Use Interview Stream to complete a virtual mock interview or review an interview tutorial. Access thru your Handshake profile.