2100 Pullen Hall
career-development@ncsu.edu
919-515-2396

Sample questions

Different employers ask different types of questions. Familiarize yourself with all interview styles so that you are prepared and comfortable with each!

Questions generally follow the organization of your resume which is used as a guide to probe your preferences, decisions, and accomplishments.  How to prepare:  Know your resume and be ready to back-up statements you make with examples.

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why did you choose to interview with us?
  • Why did you choose your major? NC State?
  • Which classes did you enjoy most? Least?
  • How do you account for your GPA? [Suggestions for low GPA]
  • If you were to start over, what would you change about your education?
  • What did you enjoy most about each job?  Least?
  • How would your supervisors describe you?
  • What role do you typically take on a team?
  • What do you consider to be your greatest strengths?
  • What is your proudest accomplishment?
  • Where do you want to be in five years?
  • Do you plan to attend graduate school?
  • Why should we hire you?

Need help with an interview question?
Consult with your career counselor.

Questions follow the STAR method and are based on the notion that past performance is a good indicator of future performance. How to prepare:  identify 2 experiences (project, job, volunteer, leadership) that you will draw from for your answers.

S —— situation (give an example of a situation)
T —— task (describe the tasks involved)
A —— action (explain how you responded)
R —— results (describe the positive outcome or result)

  • Give me an example of a time when you showed initiative and took the lead.
  • Tell me about a situation where you had to deal with an upset customer or co-worker.
  • Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.
  • Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.
  • Describe a situation when you went above and beyond to get a job done.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to conform to a policy which you did not agree.
  • What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?  Give me an example.
  • Tell me about a difficult decision you had to make in the last year.
  • Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish failed.
  • Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
  • Give me an example of the most creative project you have worked on.

Need help with an interview question?
Consult with your career counselor.

Questions will generally be of a technical nature — the interviewer is likely to have a technical background similar to yours. In addition, the interviewer may engage you in a current project — by conversation, observation or even participation. This allows you to contribute knowledge and experience gained at school, work and on your own.

Expectation is not that you know as much as the interviewer. Be honest about what you do know or what you’ve been exposed to in a class.  When appropriate, feel free to offer a strategy you’d use to learn more on the topic.

Your questions and curiosity show interest.  Engage and enjoy!

These questions feel as though they’ve come out of left field – and they have, with reason.  On the job, you’ll encounter the unexpected.   Showcase your ability to handle the unexpected comfortably and creatively.

You are not expected to know the right answer – there is no right answer for most of these.  What matters most is the respect you give the question and the thought process you use to formulate your answer.

  • If you had the resources, what world problem would you solve and why?
  • If you were a car, what color would you be and why?
  • How many cafes do you think you’d find in France?  How did you come to that answer?
  • If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be and why?

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