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Common Interview Questions to Practice

Be prepared to talk about yourself, and have in mind a brief professional summary of yourself that you will give in response to this question. Start with your educational career (major, minors) and talk a little about your professional interests, including past experiences or future goals.

Always try to avoid one-word answers. If you met them at a Career Fair, or saw the posting on the Career Connect newsletter, give a little background about why you were interested in the company.

Be sure to do research before entering an interview! Even if they do not ask this question directly, they will expect that you have a general understanding of the company and what they do. 

Be excited! Make it clear to your interviewer that you are very interested in this position, and explain why. 

When giving a professional weakness, discuss how you are working to improve. 

For this and the next few questions, keep in mind before your interview several examples of situations that you have dealt with, and how it makes you stand out, so that you have a few ideas in mind when asked these types of questions. Group work, class projects, work experience, etc. are all great examples you can have in mind. 

Be careful to avoid talking negatively about coworkers or peers while answering this question - the way you talk about others is often a reflection of yourself in interviews. 

  • This answer doesn’t need to include a time when you have had a formal leadership experience, especially if you are an underclassmen – think taking charge of a group project, leading by example, etc. 
  • Keep in mind that while it is not necessary to have had formal leadership experience to answer this question well, it is something that many employers look for. If you are not a graduating senior, start thinking about future leadership experiences you can add to your resume as you continue your time at Virginia Tech and Pamplin.

Be sure to explain how the situation turned out, how you effectively handled it, and how you have learned and adapted from this situation. 

This is an excellent time to discuss your time management skills and how you will handle multiple tasks as an employee. Think exams, balancing work and school, etc. 

You do not have to have your five year plan completely figured out to effectively answer this question. An employer is simply looking for you to share ambition and career goals with them with this question. Be sure that your five year plan loosely matches the career paths/tracks of the company you are applying for. 

Especially with startups, but with many positions, companies want to hear some of the new ideas and thoughts you might bring into the role. Think about this ahead of time while you are researching the company and position. 

ALWAYS ask a few questions at the end of an interview. Keep in mind that they may answer many of your prepped questions throughout the interview, so prepare more questions than you think you will need.