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Career Exploration and Success

Typical Questions Asked by Employers

Practice responding to these questions. You may find it helpful to jot down key points. If you can answer each of these questions clearly, concisely, and confidently, you are well on your way to interview success!

College and Academic Experiences

  • Why did you select Rutgers?
  • Why did you choose your major?
  • Which campus activities did you participate in and what did you learn or gain from these involvements?
  • Which college classes did you like the best/least? Why?
  • How would you evaluate your education at Rutgers?
  • Do your grades accurately reflect your abilities?
  • Were you financially responsible for your education?
  • How many classes did you miss because of illness, personal business, or other reasons?

Work Experience and Accomplishments

  • What did you enjoy most/least about your last job?
  • Have you ever quit a job? Why?
  • Which three accomplishments are you most proud of?
  • What problems have you solved on the job?
  • What work experience did you have during college?

Skills and Personal Qualities

  • Tell me about yourself. (Be prepared for this one. It may be the first question asked. Briefly highlight your career interests, academic background, work experiences, and strengths.)
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • Can you describe any weaknesses? (Make sure you cite something that you are actively improving upon. Turn it into a positive. Do not mention a weakness, which would directly and negatively impact your ability to do the job.)
  • What skills have you developed?
  • Why should we hire you rather than another candidate?
  • Is there anything not on your resume that  you would like to share? (Your answer may include any volunteer work, activities, or community service).
  • Define success and failure.

The Job and Employer

  • Why did you choose to interview with us?
  • How does your college education or work experience relate to this job?
  • What do you know about us (products or services)?
  • What are your salary requirements?
  • Why are you a good candidate for this position?

Work Environment

  • Do you prefer to be supervised or work on your own?
  • Would you be successful working on a team?
  • Have you worked under deadline pressure? When?
  • Are you able to work on several assignments at once?
  • Do you prefer large or small organizations? Why?

The Future

  • Describe your ideal job.
  • Where do you want to be in five years? Ten years?
  • Do you plan to further your education?

Typical “Behavioral Interview” Questions

  • Give an example of a situation when you dealt with a difficult customer.
  • Provide an example that demonstrates your ability to work effectively as part of a team.
  • Describe a time when you successfully managed multiple responsibilities.
  • Describe a project or situation which demonstrates your ability to analyze and solve problems.
  • Give an example that demonstrates your organization skills and attention to detail. 
  • Describe a time when you had a conflict or difference of opinion with a co-worker.

Questions to Ask Employers at the First Interview

  • Please describe the duties of the job.
  • What might I expect in the first six months?
  • What skills are important for someone in this position?
  • Can you tell me about the team projects I will be working on?
  • Will I have an opportunity to work on special projects?
  • Do you offer a training program? How long does it last?
  • What type of professional development opportunities are available for employees?

Second or Third Interview

  • How much responsibility will I have during my first assignment? Subsequent assignments?
  • Do you promote from within or hire from the outside?
  • What is the largest single challenge facing your staff/department/organization?

Point of an Offer

  • What is the salary range for this position?
  • Are salary adjustments geared to the cost of living or job performance?
  • Do you have a standard or optional benefits package?
  • What is your vacation policy?
  • What is the performance review process?