Academic Interviews: Standard Questions (Part 1 of 3)

This is a three part series focusing on common questions that are often asked in academic interviews. In the first week, we will focus on standard interview questions. These are classic questions that can arise in academic or non-academic interviews.  They are from a larger set of questions compiled by the Centre for Career Action at the University of Waterloo. Further information can be found here.

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you feel you will be successful in this work?
  • For you, what are some advantages and disadvantages of working in a team environment?
  • What motivates you to do a good job?
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • How do you reduce stress and achieve balance in your life?
  • How did you handle a request to do something contrary to your moral code or business ethics?
  • Why did you apply to our organization and what do you know about us?
  • What is the most important thing you are looking for in an employer?
  • How do you spend your spare time?
  • If I asked your friends to describe you, what would they say?
  • When did you last have a disagreement with someone at work, and what was the outcome?
  • Why haven’t you found a job yet?
  • How will you be successful in the job, given your lack of experience in ______ (e.g., sales, fundraising, bookkeeping)?
  • Why should I hire you?

If you have an upcoming interview, practice your answers with someone who has interviewing experience and who will also be completely honest with you.

Stay tuned for next week’s post which will focus on teaching related interview questions.

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