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Samples of Appropriate Interview Questions

There are several pages of questions. Because each position is unique, these questions may or may not suit your specific needs. You might begin sorting out the questions by choosing only categories pertinent to a particular job/position. You may need to adapt or rephrase the questions to the specifics of your position.

The questions are divided into the following categories:

Overall Job Performance

  1. How do you typically handle yourself in a fast-pacedenvironment?
  2. How would you describe your work pace: fast,moderate, slow, or if it varies and under what circumstances?
  3. What are your strengths? Why?
  4. What are your weaknesses? Why?
  5. How do you handle a heavy workload with manydeadlines?
  6. In all jobs there are heavy periods and lightperiods. What do you do in such cases?
  7. You are given several rush projects to be completedin a short period of time. How would you establish priorities? Why?
  8. How would you describe your organizational abilities?
  9. How would you describe your attendance and punctuality habits?How wouldyou describe your work habits?How would you describe your own performancestandards?


  1. What ideas did you contribute to your department?What were the results?
  2. Give an example of something you recommended that wasadopted.
  3. What have you done to make your job easier or moreinteresting?
  4. Give an example of a project you were responsible forstarting. What did you do? How did it work out?
  5. How much information do you need to get started on anew project or assignment?
  6. When have you had to produce results, withoutsufficient guidelines or information? What did you do?
  7. What is the most creative thing you have done in apast job? How did it occur?
  8. In the last year, what innovative ideas have you had at work? Were youable to implement them? How were they innovative?

Ability to Learn

  1. Give an example of a situation at your previousemployer when you have had to keep up with changes in technology, terminology,and information specific to your field?
  2. How quickly have you learned new processes for a job?What did you have to learn?
  3. How soon could you learn this job well enough tobecome productive?
  4. If time did not permit a training period on a newjob, how would you go about learning the things expected or required of you?
  5. Give three examples of your adaptability.
  6. Describe the most recent formal learning experienceyou?ve had.
  7. What are your long-term professional goals? How dothe duties and responsibilities in this position relate to that goal?
  8. What do you consider to be important attributes of asupervisor?
  9. What kind of supervisor do you enjoy working for most? Least?

Decision Making/Problem Solving/Analytical Skills

  1. Describe a specific time on any job that you?ve heldwhen you were faced with issues that tested your problem-solving skills. Whatdid you do?
  2. Give an example of a time when you had to keep fromspeaking or not finish a task because you did not have enough information tocome to a good decision. Be specific.
  3. Give an example of a time when you had to make aquick decision.
  4. Give an example of a time when you had to use yourfact-finding skills to get information to solve a problem- then describe howyou analyzed the information to come to a decision.
  5. Give an example of a problem you faced on a job anddescribe how you solved it.
  6. Describe your most stressful work-related situationand how you handled it.
  7. How do you typically handle yourself under pressureor stress? Describe a difficult situation you encountered with a supervisor orco-worker and how you handled it.
  8. What are some examples of important types ofdecisions or recommendations you are called upon to make in your past/presentposition?
  9. Most of us can think of an important decision we?dmake quite differently if we could do it over. Any examples from yourexperience?
  10. Give an example of a difficult decision you had tomake at your last job. How did you solve it? Follow-up: Why did you choosethat method instead of another solution?
  11. What has been a stubborn or recurring problem areayou would have liked to solve in your cur-rent job, but haven?t yet?
  12. What process do you follow in solving problems?
  13. What methods do you use to make decisions? Pleasegive an example of your approach.
  14. What kinds of decisions did you have authority over?Which ones did you have to check with your manager before making?
  15. What information or technical support has helped yousucceed on the job?
  16. Have you ever had to make a decision before you had all the data youwanted? Give an example. What did you do?

Interpersonal Communication Skills/Dealing with Conflict

  1. What is effective communication?
  2. Tell me about a job experience when you had to speakup in order to be sure that others knew what you thought or felt.
  3. Describe how you would endeavor to convince your bossto grant you additional funds for a purpose you have-in-mind.
  4. Describe some projects you worked on that requiredstrong writing skills. What was the level of your responsibility? Who was theprimary audience?
  5. How would you characterize your written and oralcommunication-skills?
  6. What do you require from a supervisor?
  7. Would you rather work on a team or on your own?
  8. Describe what a "team" environment means to you.
  9. What experience have you had working as a member of a team? What are theadvantages?

Technical Skills

Graphic Design/Desktop Publishing

  1. What experience have you had with graphic design anddesktop publishing? Please provide samples.
  2. What are some basic principles of working withcolors?
  3. What sort of consideration goes into designing abrochure?
  4. What do you look for in a blueline?
  5. What information and materials would you provide to a service bureau ifyou had to produce a brochure?

Web Design

  1. If money were not a concern, what platform would youchoose for an Intemet information server, and why?
  2. When creating Web documents, what tools do you use?What kind of experience do you have with HTML editors? Plain text editors? Website management tools?
  3. What does it mean for a program to be called a OGI?What is your experience with OGI programming?
  4. What are the top 5 or 10 characteristics of a goodWeb site? Please illustrate by describing a good Web site that you recentlyproduced. How did you plan and design the Web site? How do you decide when andhow to revise or enhance a Web site?
  5. What, in your opinion, are the basic characteristicsof a bad Web site? How would you proceed if you were asked to re-design a lessthan adequate departmental Web site?
  6. If you were given an assignment to put an existingprint publication on the Web, how would you proceed? Why?
  7. Have you ever connected Web forms to a backenddatabase? Discuss your experience with such forms.
  8. How do you stay current with developments in communications, graphicdesign, and Web publishing?


  1. How would you define effective communication? Whatskills do you have that make you a good communicator?
  2. How do you choose which medium/media to use to reachyour various audiences? What are the strengths and weaknesses associated witheach medium?
  3. What are some of the strategies you have used tocommunicate technical information to a wide variety of people with differinglevels of expertise?
  4. How often in your professional experience have you encountered conflictbetween yourself and the subject of your story? Describe one such example.

Management Attitude/Style

  1. How would you describe your management philosophy andstyle?
  2. Have you ever had to initiate corrective action foran employee? If so, what steps did you take to implement this action?
  3. In what ways might you want to modify your approachto dealing with subordinates?
  4. Some managers keep a very close check on theirorganization. Others use a loose rein. What patterns do you follow? How has itchanged during the last few years?
  5. How would you describe your standards of performance?What would your staff say? What would your supervisor say?
  6. How would you deal with an employee who was not doinghis or her job properly?
  7. What philosophy and techniques do you use inmotivating your staff and energizing them?
  8. How would you deal with an employee who does notappear to measure up to increasing demands of a job?
  9. How do you think your staff would describe yourdelegation style?
  10. How do you get your employees (or others) to followyou?
  11. How do you use your power or authority to achieveyour goals?
  12. Give an example of how you delegated responsibilityfor a recent assignment; for instance, how you delegated an assignment, and
  13. What you did to monitor it.

General Knowledge

  1. Can you give us an overview of how an academicdepartment functions in the University?
  2. What is your commitment to and understanding ofAffirmative Action as it relates to students, staff, faculty and recruitment?What about retention, staff development or promotion?
  3. Describe the type of relationship you think should exist between staff andstudents on this campus.


  1. How do you make sure that your employees areaccountable?
  2. What do you typically do when you hear of a problemin your area?
  3. How useful have you found written procedures andguidelines in helping you manage your area?
  4. Do you believe that the chain of command is important? Why? When do youthink it might inhibit organizational effectiveness?

Financial Management

  1. What responsibility do you have for budgeting? Whatbudgeting method do you use?
  2. How do you go about estimating expenses and budgets?
  3. What recent decision have you made that had an impacton finances? How did you assess its impact?
  4. What experience have you had with long and short-term budget projections?Please explain.