Sample Interview Questions

Duke University Career Center
Duke University Career CenterDuke University Career Center

Use this handout to help prepare for any interview you have. There are questions to help you prepare as well as sample questions to ask employers.

Career Center 
Sample Interview Questions 
• Tell me about yourself. 
• Why are you interested in this position/industry/company? 
• Give me an example of a time you’ve done more than what was required. 
• Give me an example of a time where you had to deal with an ethical dilemma, or were faced with a situation 
that had ethical implications and challenges. 
• Give an example of a good decision you’ve made recently. What alternatives did you consider? Why was it a 
good decision? 
• Can you give me an example of a time you were able to identify a small problem and fix it before it became a 
major problem? 
• Tell me about a time that you saw something happen that you know was wrong. What did you do? 
• Interacting with others can be challenging at times. Describe a specific situation in which you had the 
greatest difficulty getting along with peers, team members or others at work. How did you handle the 
situation? 
• When have you inspired someone to work hard or do a good job? How did you do that? 
• Have you ever been in a situation in which you were able to anticipate the need for a new approach? What 
did you do about it? 
Sample Questions to Ask Employers 
• What motivates you in your work here at _______________________ ? 
• How would you describe communcation with leadership within the organization? Are entry-level employees 
encouraged to interact with leadership or only through defined channels? 
• How does your organization show that it values its employees? 
• What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses when compared to other companies in the market? 
• How will my work be measured and evaluated? How often will this take place? 
• How have other entry level employees (or interns) significantly contributed to your organzation? 
Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • 
Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708
Action Steps 
In order to apply what I have learned in today’s workshop, I will: 
Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 
114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708 
1. 
2. 
3. 
More Sample Interview Questions 
• What is one of the most difficult writing assignments you’ve had? Explain. 
• Tell me about one or two presentations that you’ve given to your superiors or peers. 
• Have you ever communicated in a high stakes situation? What happened? 
• Give me an example of how you successfully handle multiple demands. 
• Tell me about a time when you had to do something different than you expected, planned or usually do. What 
was it? What did you do? 
• Tell me about a time when you were accountable for the completion and success of a very important task. 
How satisfied/dissatisfied were you with that? Why? 
• Tell me about a time when you had difficult goals in your work. How satisfied/dissatisfied were you with 
that? Why? 
• Tell me about a time when you worked on a low-profile assignment for which you did not receive a lot of 
attention from others. How satisfied/dissatisfied were you with that? Why? 
• How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time? 
• What do you do when your schedule is suddenly interrupted? Give me an example. 
• Tell me about a time when you had to request help or assistance on a project because it turned out to be more 
that you could handle by yourself? 
• What is the most difficult business decision you have had to make? What factors did you consider when 
making that decision?

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Sample Interview Questions

  • 1. Career Center Sample Interview Questions • Tell me about yourself. • Why are you interested in this position/industry/company? • Give me an example of a time you’ve done more than what was required. • Give me an example of a time where you had to deal with an ethical dilemma, or were faced with a situation that had ethical implications and challenges. • Give an example of a good decision you’ve made recently. What alternatives did you consider? Why was it a good decision? • Can you give me an example of a time you were able to identify a small problem and fix it before it became a major problem? • Tell me about a time that you saw something happen that you know was wrong. What did you do? • Interacting with others can be challenging at times. Describe a specific situation in which you had the greatest difficulty getting along with peers, team members or others at work. How did you handle the situation? • When have you inspired someone to work hard or do a good job? How did you do that? • Have you ever been in a situation in which you were able to anticipate the need for a new approach? What did you do about it? Sample Questions to Ask Employers • What motivates you in your work here at _______________________ ? • How would you describe communcation with leadership within the organization? Are entry-level employees encouraged to interact with leadership or only through defined channels? • How does your organization show that it values its employees? • What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses when compared to other companies in the market? • How will my work be measured and evaluated? How often will this take place? • How have other entry level employees (or interns) significantly contributed to your organzation? Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708
  • 2. Action Steps In order to apply what I have learned in today’s workshop, I will: Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708 1. 2. 3. More Sample Interview Questions • What is one of the most difficult writing assignments you’ve had? Explain. • Tell me about one or two presentations that you’ve given to your superiors or peers. • Have you ever communicated in a high stakes situation? What happened? • Give me an example of how you successfully handle multiple demands. • Tell me about a time when you had to do something different than you expected, planned or usually do. What was it? What did you do? • Tell me about a time when you were accountable for the completion and success of a very important task. How satisfied/dissatisfied were you with that? Why? • Tell me about a time when you had difficult goals in your work. How satisfied/dissatisfied were you with that? Why? • Tell me about a time when you worked on a low-profile assignment for which you did not receive a lot of attention from others. How satisfied/dissatisfied were you with that? Why? • How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time? • What do you do when your schedule is suddenly interrupted? Give me an example. • Tell me about a time when you had to request help or assistance on a project because it turned out to be more that you could handle by yourself? • What is the most difficult business decision you have had to make? What factors did you consider when making that decision?