1. Hi Interview Skills
Tel: 416.736.5351 firstname.lastname@example.org www.yorku.ca/careers
SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. What is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?
3. What do you do to ensure that you lead a balanced life?
4. In what area have you shown your greatest improvement in the last two years?
1. What extracurricular activities were you active in?
2. What skills did you develop through your university education? How will these help you in a
3. What was the most important thing you have learned at university, aside from the subject
4. What type of educational upgrading do you plan to undertake in the future?
1. What type of work do you feel you are best suited for? Why?
2. Describe what you really liked and disliked about a previous job.
3. In past jobs, what achievements were recognized by your supervisor?
4. Why do you want to work at XYZ company?
5. What is your expected salary for this position?
2. BEHAVIOURAL ASSESSMENT
1. Can you give me an example of a time when your ability to focus and remain committed
over an extended period of time helped you to achieve an important goal?
2. Describe a situation where you had to resolve a conflict at work/class/in extracurricular
activities. What was the outcome? What did you learn from this situation.
3. Can you give me an example of a time when you did more than your job/assignment
4. Can you recall a time when your work was criticised? Describe the situation and your
5. Describe a time when you experienced time demands. What techniques did you use to
6. Tell me about a team project you worked on. What worked well? What were the
challenges, and how did you handle them?
7. Tell me about a time when you did not agree with a decision the group was making. What
did you do?
8. Tell me about a time when you have had difficulty communicating with someone. How did
you handle it?
9. Can you give me an example of a time when you demonstrated initiative? What did you do
and what was the result?
10. What would you do if you were given two conflicting deadlines?
3. INTERVIEW SKILLS TIP SHEET
STEPS TO TAKE WHEN PREPARING FOR AN INTERVIEW
Ask yourself, what does the job involve?
o Research the organization (information may include the history and mission of the
o Review the job description and desired characteristics
Can I communicate what is unique about me?
Do you know how you ‘fit’
Review your resumé & application
Anticipate questions and think about possible answers
Can you think of examples to prove your skills?
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN YOU ARE CALLED FOR AN INTERVIEW
Length of the Interview
Who will be involved in the interview
Will there be a test component? (e.g. technical interview, typing test, written test etc…).
Think first, answer second
Provide specific examples to add context
Target your answers to the job you are applying for
Respond with a logical flow of information
ANSWERING BEHAVIORAL QUESTIONS
How to identify a behavioral based question
Eg. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or client.
A simple formula
Situation + Task + Action + Result
There are many factors when trying to figure out what IS
Consider what type of work environment you will be working
in. Will you be working with customers? Will you be dealing
with management or clients?
Think about the characteristics you would like to convey. For
example, confident, approachable, professional etc.
What type of work takes place?
Who are you interacting with?
What type of event is it? Formal or casual?
4. UNDERSTANDING THE INTENTION BEHIND INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
DID YOU KNOW THAT MANY EMPLOYER QUERSTIONS BOIL DOWN TO THESE 5 QUESTIONS?
THE FIVE THINGS AN EMPLOYER
REALLY WANTS TO KNOW
QUESTIONS FROM INTERVIEW
1. Why are you here?
Why are you seeking this job at our
• Tell me about yourself. (also for questions 2 & 3)
• Why do you want to work at XYZ company?
2. What can you do for us?
Do you have the skills I am looking for?
• What are your top 3 strengths/greatest weakness?
• What skills did you develop in university? How will
these help you in a job?
• What would you do if you were given two conflicting
• Tell me about a time when you did not agree with a
group decision. What did you do?
• Can you give me an example of a time when you
3. What kind of person are you?
Would I enjoy working with you?
• What type of work are you best suited for? Why?
• What do you do to ensure that you lead a balanced
4. What distinguished you from the
other candidates? What special assets
do you have? Eg. Work habits, record of
high achievement, languages, etc…
• We have a lot of qualified candidates. Why should
we hire you?
5. Can I afford you?
What will it take to hire you? • What is your expected salary for this position?
Adapted from Richard Bolles What Colour is Your Parachute? 2007
THE DAY OF THE INTERVIEW
Dress appropriately for the job
Relax and have a positive attitude
Show your interest/enthusiasm when answering questions
Be 10 - 15 minutes early
Be professional with all staff
5. NEXT STEPS & RESOURCES
(Please check the next steps that are appropriate for you)
I would like to apply the interview strategies I learned today in enhancing my own interview:
Complete the “Strategy to prepare answers to questions I will most likely be asked” exercise provided
during this workshop:
Research skills and qualifications required for my job target (e.g. consulting with people in my
network; reviewing job postings and occupational profiles)
Brainstorm examples and contexts in which I have demonstrated relevant skills
Get advice and feedback on your interview by booking a 1-on-1 appointment
Access interview resources in the Career Centre library, including:
Sweaty Palms: Interview Your Way to Job Success
Best Answers to the 201 most Frequently Asked Interview Questions
Last Minute Interview Tips
201 Best Questions to Ask at on Your Interview
I would like to learn more about how to find jobs in my field, and how to seek out opportunities to share my
resumé with prospective employers:
Discover effective job search techniques and identify strategies that work best for you by attending
the “Job Searching that Works!” workshop HTUwww.yorku.ca/careers/services/workshops.htmUTH
I would like to learn more about other job search skills:
Attend workshops on “Resumé Writing” and “Cover Letter Writing”
Review the Career Cyber Guide Online workshops on all aspects of job search
I would like to learn more about my career possibilities and how to make great career decisions:
Attend the “Who Am I?” workshop to identify your unique abilities, recognize how others influence
your career decisions, and gain insight into the things that are most important to you in the world of
I would like to explore career and educational options:
National Occupational Classification: Over 25,000 occupational titles are included. Tip: If you are
looking for a specific career, do a keyword search. H TUwww23.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/UTH
Job Futures: Provides useful information about 226 occupational groups and describes the work
experience of recent graduates from 155 programs of study. HTUwww.jobfutures.caUTH