University of Vermont



Sample Interview Questions

Read and consider how you would answer the following sample interview questions:

Personal assessment and career direction

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your long- and short-range goals? How have you prepared to achieve them?
  • What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?
  • Why did you choose the career for which you prepared?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How would someone who knows you describe you?
  • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What qualifications do you have that will make you successful in this field/position/organization?
  • In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
  • Describe how you work under pressure.
  • In what part-time or summer jobs have you been most interested? Why?
  • How would you describe the ideal job for you following graduation?
  • What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
  • Do you have a geographical preference? Where? Why?
  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • What are some examples of your creativity?

Work attitudes

  • How do you define success? According to this definition, how successful are you?
  • What qualities should a successful manager possess?
  • Describe the relationship that ideally exists between a supervisor and supervisee.
  • What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?
  • Are you willing to spend at least six months as a trainee?

Academic assessment

  • How has your college experience prepared you for a career?
  • Describe your most rewarding college experience.
  • Did you work while you were going to school?
  • Why did you select your college or university?
  • What led you to choose your field of major study?
  • What changes would you make in your college or university? Why?
  • How would you plan your academic study differently if you could? Why?
  • Do you have plans for continued study? An advanced degree?
  • Do you think your grades are a good indication of your academic achievements?

Sensitive issues

  • How did you get along with your last boss?
  • You seem overqualified for this position. Can you explain why you applied?
  • What is the hardest job you have ever performed?
  • How much do you think this position pays?
  • Tell me your position on drug testing.

Knowledge of the employer

  • What do you know about this organization? Where did you find this information?
  • What contributions do you think you could make to this organization?
  • If you were hiring a graduate for this position, what qualities would you look for?
  • Why did you decide to seek a position with this organization?

Other interests and experiences

  • What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
  • What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it?
  • What have you learned from your mistakes?

Situational or behavioral questions

  • Describe the most difficult interpersonal situation you’ve had with a professor, supervisor, supervisee or colleague. How did you handle it?
  • If your supervisor were setting impossible deadlines, what would you do?
  • How would you handle a situation where your direct supervisor asked you to do something that was not consistent with your professional judgment?

Teacher/education-specific questions

  • What would your classroom look like?
  • How do/would you use technology in the classroom?
  • How do/would you manage a variety of different ability/skill levels in the same classroom?
  • How do/would you handle a student who refuses to follow directions and is rude during your class discussion?
  • Please give us two examples of situations in which you used effective classroom management strategies?
  • What are five things that are vital for a successful classroom?
  • How do you create community in your classroom?
  • Why do you want to be a teacher?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses as a teacher? In what ways have you improved?
  • How do teaching and learning relate to each other?
  • What is the role of parents in your classroom?
  • How do you know if a student is/has been successful?
  • What unique skills and qualities would you bring to the school/team?
  • Respond to the following statement: The parent is always right.
  • What is your educational philosophy?
  • Why do you want to work at this school? Why do you want this position?
  • What kinds of resources/materials would you need/use in your classroom?
  • How do you challenge students of all levels and learning styles?
  • How do you incorporate state and national standards into your curriculum?
  • What is the importance of and how would you prepare your students for standardized testing?
  • Respond to this statement: It is important for my students to like me.
  • In what different ways to you assess student learning? How do you recognize, encourage and assess multiple intelligences in your classroom?
  • What are your personal and professional learning goals for the next few years?

Last modified August 28 2012 02:26 PM