Career Services

Interviewing Tips

Common Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are your greatest weaknesses?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
  • Why did you select Lewis University?
  • What led you to choose your major?
  • How has your college experience prepared you for your career?
  • What are your short and long term career goals?
  • Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and subordinates.
  • In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
  • How do you handle pressure at work?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What two or three things are most important to you in a job?
  • What kinds of decisions are most difficult for you to make?
  • What kinds of people do you most enjoy working with?
  • Do you prefer to work alone or with others? Why?
  • How do you handle rejection?
  • Do you think your grades accurately reflect your academic achievement?
  • What have you learned from participating in extracurricular activities?
  • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
  • Which is more important to you, the money or the type of job?
  • In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to this company?
  • Do you have any questions?

Illegal Questions

Occasionally interviewers ask an illegal question. This is a question that does not pertain to the nature of the job or your ability to do that job. Most often this question is not asked of every applicant, but may still be used in making a hiring decision. You do not have to answer an illegal question, but you can if you feel comfortable doing so.

For more information on interviewing or a complete list of illegal questions and suggested replies, visit the Career Services library. For interviewing practice, sign up for a mock interview with a career counselor.

Questions You Might Want to Ask

You should always have two or three questions in mind to ask the interviewer. This will show him/her that you are enthusiastic about the company. It will also give you a clearer picture of what the company is all about. What is an example of a typical career path, beginning with this position?

  • What type of person succeeds in this position? Company?
  • What are the most important responsibilities of the position?
  • What are the company’s strengths? Weaknesses?
  • What are the company’s long term growth plans?
  • What type of feedback can I expect?
  • What kind of training can I expect?
  • What would be my initial duties and responsibilities?
  • How many entry-level positions do you normally fill each year?
  • What is the turnover rate among company personnel? Why?
  • Why is this position open?
  • What is your management style (if talking with your manager to be)?
  • What would a normal working day be like in this position?
  • Will I be expected to resolve issues independently, or will there be an opportunity to consult with others?
  • How are new ideas sought? Acted upon? Rewarded?
  • Is it possible to transfer from one division and/or location to another?
  • What exactly will I be expected to accomplish in the next year?
  • Will there be opportunities for advancement?
  • What do you feel are my strengths and weaknesses for the job?

Important Advice

  1. Bring several copies of your resume and your references in a plain folder.

  2. Watch your non-verbal communication. Pay attention to your posture and eye contact (don’t stare).

  3. Don’t exagerate or lie.

  4. Expect to spend some time building rapport because personal chemistry is a main ingredient in the hiring process. Try to get comfortable with the interviewer. Being comfortable will help the rest of the interview go well.

  5. Don’t interrupt the employer.

  6. Pay attention to the timing of your answers. Use silence and intentional pauses to your advantage. Time is occasionally needed to think and reflect.

  7. NEVER slight a former employer, colleague, teacher or institution. The employer may assume that you will someday do the same to him/her.

  8. If you catch yourself making an error or contradiction, correct yourself.

  9. BE YOURSELF! You don’t want to get hired on the basis of something you are not. You want to be hired for who you are.