University Career Center

Sample of answer

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Remember: there are no trick questions and panel members are not trying to confuse you. Organising an interview is expensive for a company and it costs money and time. Employers want to evaluate the best of what you have to offer, so they can make a good choice in selecting a candidate.

Most panel members take notes while you're talking, but don't worry, it should not bother
you. Just listen carefully to each question!

Common questions are mostly asked in combination with questions that reveal key skills and competencies:

  • Tell us something about yourself.
  • They already known your personal data so do not repeat this (name, date of birth
    etc.) Start with your latest degree, interests or some recent accomplishment.

  • Why do you think that you are the best candidate for this position? OR, why did you apply for this position?
  • Keep in mind the main competencies that were requested in the vacancy notice. Mention the trust and confidence that you’ve earned from professors and/or previous employers as a possible answer. Then connect your achievements from your period of studies with relevant job requirements. If you have already had
    experience in a required field, this is a huge advantage.

  • Thinking of your professional field, what are your weaknesses?
  • Weaknesses are points at which we should work on to improve. But here, your weaknesses should be presented in a way that actually express your qualities! For example: I am a perfectionist and I analyze every problem in detail. That sometimes takes much of my time so I stay till late in the office in order to get
    proper results in my work.

    Or, you may say that you trust people too much; or even that you don’t trust people 100%; or that you are too emotional (however, craft the answer in terms of the type of the job).

  • Give us an example of how you solved a conflict situation in your workplace?
  • Don't speak negatively about your chief or colleagues, but show how you reached an agreement. For example: there was some problem that you should have solved through team work, but one of your colleague did not want to cooperate and responded very emotionally with each objection and took things personally.
    Solving this issue in a successful way depended on that colleague. I invited her/him for a coffee outside of work. In an indirect way, I started a conversation referring to the problem. In a relaxed atmosphere, without blaming anyone, we came to the conclusion that criticism should not be taken as a jeopardising factor for any individual but rather as a constructive approach in solving the problem.

  • What do you think would be the greatest obstacle or challenge for you if you get this position?
  • By this answer, you reveal whether you fully explored the responsibilities inherent in the post and the company’s work. For example, you may say: Cooperation with local authorities in regard to getting necessary documentation from the cadastral office shall probably be the greatest challenge.

  • We employ graduates as future leaders. Could you give us an example at which point you've taken the role of leader/manager?
  • Remember all your activities during your studies, including any role with the Student Unions, sports activities, volunteering etc.

Unpleasant questions are always hard to answer. Be ready for those types of questions too. Give sincere answers to such questions, but avoid putting the blame on others. Make sure that your answer will not discredit you. Before answering the question, take some time to think about it.

  • Why did you change your faculty after the first year of study?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • Have you ever had to work in a team with someone whom you didn’t like or with someone who didn't want to share responsibilities?
  • In your CV, we have observed a whole year without any activities (education or work). What did you do that year?

Personal questions should not be answered, if you feel uncomfortable, of course. Feel

free to say: I am sorry, but I don't feel comfortable to answer this question. If you feel that you are discriminated or that your security is under question, be free to leave the interview and contact a consultant in the Centre Career.