"Sample Interview Questions - Unc"

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SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Before you start an interview, make sure you have a clear picture of the criteria and standards of
performance that will make or break the job, and limit your questions to those factors.
The categories below are common job requirements (in alphabetical order) and the types of questions you
might use to judge whether candidates fit those qualifications. Adapt and tailor each set of questions to
the specific job description you need to fill.
Warm-Up
What interested you in applying for this position?
Tell us a little about your work history.
Adaptability
Describe supervisors that you have found easiest to work with. What about the most difficult?
You’ve probably had this experience: You worked hard on something, only to be told to change priorities
and do it some other way. How did you handle that?
What kinds of problems have you had in switching from one job to another?
Administrative/Management
What is important to you in a job?
Describe an important goal that you achieved in the past. What strategies did you use to achieve it?
What part of your work has given you the greatest feelings of achievement and satisfaction?
What are the most important administrative responsibilities you have taken on? How well did you like
them?
SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Before you start an interview, make sure you have a clear picture of the criteria and standards of
performance that will make or break the job, and limit your questions to those factors.
The categories below are common job requirements (in alphabetical order) and the types of questions you
might use to judge whether candidates fit those qualifications. Adapt and tailor each set of questions to
the specific job description you need to fill.
Warm-Up
What interested you in applying for this position?
Tell us a little about your work history.
Adaptability
Describe supervisors that you have found easiest to work with. What about the most difficult?
You’ve probably had this experience: You worked hard on something, only to be told to change priorities
and do it some other way. How did you handle that?
What kinds of problems have you had in switching from one job to another?
Administrative/Management
What is important to you in a job?
Describe an important goal that you achieved in the past. What strategies did you use to achieve it?
What part of your work has given you the greatest feelings of achievement and satisfaction?
What are the most important administrative responsibilities you have taken on? How well did you like
them?
How do you like to be managed? What are your expectations of your supervisor?
What are your expectations of your co-workers?
What is it like to work with you? How would your colleagues describe you?
Give me an example of a problem you faced on the job, and tell me how you solved it.
What makes working here interesting to you?
What parts of your work have you found the most frustrating or dissatisfying?
Analysis
What do you do to keep informed about possible work-related problems?
Describe a project or idea you originated. How did you know it was a good idea?
What kind of problems have people recently called on you to solve? Tell me what you have devised.
Have you ever recognized a problem or opportunity before anyone else? What happened?
Describe a situation in which you were able to read another person effectively and guide your actions by
your understanding of his/her individual needs or values.
Give me an example of a time when you had to analyze another person or situation carefully in order to be
effective in guiding your action or decision.
Attention to Detail
Describe a situation in which you felt it necessary to be very attentive and vigilant to your environment.
Have you ever had an experience in which you were glad you had paid attention to some particular detail?
Please describe it.
Communication Skills (Oral)
Give me an example of how you would explain a complicated procedure to someone who was new to the
situation.
When, in the past, have you found it important to disagree with your boss? How did you approach her or
him, and what was the result?
Can you tell me about a job experience in which you had to speak up and tell other people what you
thought or felt?
Have you ever had to get a point across to different types of people? What approach did you take?
Have you ever given instructions to someone, and then learned they did it wrong? What happened?
Describe a situation where your work or idea was criticized. How did you handle it? What did you do about
it?
Give an example of a time when you could not participate in a discussion or could not finish a task
because you did not have enough information.
Give me an example of a time when you were able to communicate successfully with another person, even
when that individual may not have personally liked you.
Describe a decision you made based largely on data you obtained by asking questions.
How do people react when you ask them questions? How well do they seem to understand what you want
to know?
Can you give me an example of a time you had to sell a proposal to a group of your superiors or
coworkers? How did you do and how did it help?
Communication Skills (Written)
What are some of the most important documents you have written? What kinds of problems did you have
writing them? What kind of reception did they receive?
What is the most difficult writing assignment you have undertaken recently? What made it challenging?
How did you handle it?
Have you ever written instructions to be followed by employees or customers? What did you do?
Recall an important report you had to prepare. How did you go about planning and organizing it?
To what kind of audience do you address most of your written work? What level of language do you use?
Have you ever had to write technical materials for lay people? Please give me an example.
Describe a time when you had to communicate information in a difficult or awkward work situation. How
did you handle that situation?
Control
Describe the procedures you have used to keep track of things that require your attention.
What do you do to keep track of your subordinates’ progress on delegated assignments?
What do you do when you find that a subordinate is not meeting your standards?
Decision-Making
Describe a work-related problem you had to face recently. What procedures did you use to deal with it?
Give me an example of a difficult decision you had to make at your last job. How did you solve it? What
was your rationale for choosing this method rather than another solution?
Can you describe a work-related occasion when you felt you made up your mind too quickly? Too slowly?
Have you ever delayed a decision so you would have more time to think? Give me an example.
Give an example of a time when you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.
Delegation
Describe your normal methods of assigning work to subordinates.
Who is in charge while you are gone? How do you inform this person of the limits and responsibilities you
expect him/her to observe?
Have you ever moved up to a position where you had to supervise former peers? How did you handle it?
Describe a project that required a major effort by many members of your staff. Who did you ask to
participate? What qualities made you choose them? What assignments did they have?
You’ve probably had a situation in which you delegated a responsibility, but the work wasn’t done as you
expected. What caused it to happen? What would you do differently next time?
Diversity
Describe a work or community experience in which you worked with people from different backgrounds.
What was most challenging about the experience? What was most rewarding?
Flexibility
Tell me about a time when you feel you were treated unfairly. What was the problem and how did you
handle it?
Tell me about a time you had to surmount an obstacle to reach a goal. What was the problem, and what
did you do about it?
Have you ever had an experience in which you failed to sell an idea or gain cooperation the first time, but
succeeded later? What was the difference?
Describe a time when you were faced with problems or stresses at work that tested you coping skills.
What did you do?
Independence
On what occasions did you feel you had to consult with your boss before proceeding with some action?
When did you feel it was proper to act on your own?
Describe a work responsibility or project that required you to work independently. What were your
responsibilities? What strategies did you use to coordinate the work? What methods did you use to
prioritize your work? How did you enjoy that type of work?
Give me an example of a project or idea you’ve undertaken, even though you knew it would not be popular
with some people. How did things work out?
What were the limits of authority in your previous job? Did you ever find it necessary to go beyond them?
It’s possible, of course, to be loyal to your employer but still disagree with some rules and policies. Can
you cite an example in your own experience?
Initiative
Tell me about a time your effort helped carry out some project or idea.
Describe a way you have improved the organization of a system or task at your present job.
What have you done to make your job easier or more rewarding?
Describe a situation in which you found you had a serious problem. What did you do to solve it?
Tell me about an idea you generated. What did you do? How did things work out?
What is the most challenging thing you have ever done?
Give me an example of an important goal you had to set and tell me about your progress in reaching that
goal.
Give me an example of a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job
done.
Describe the most creative work-related project you have completed.
Integrity
Give me an example of a time you found it necessary to make an exception to the rules in order to get
something done.
Do you feel some rules should be obeyed more stringently than others? Give me some examples.
How strictly do you believe your coworkers normally follow the rules? Do you approve of their attitude?
Judgment
What was the best decision you ever made? What were the alternatives? How did you go about making it?
Tell me the same thing about the worst decision you made.
How about the hardest decision you ever made?