College Job Interview Questions and Answers
When you are a college student or recent graduate applying for a job, you will likely get questions related to your college experience. You will also have to relate your education, extracurricular activities, and other academic experiences to the job for which you are applying.
The best way to prepare for a job interview is by learning the most common interview questions and practicing your answers.
Types of College Job Interview Questions
There are a few types of questions that you might get during a job interview as a college student or recent graduate. Many questions will be common interview questions you might be asked at any job, including questions about your work history and your skill sets.
Some of these common interview questions will be personal questions about your character. For example, you might be asked questions about what motivates you, what your weaknesses are, or how you handle stressful situations.
You will also likely be asked a number of behavioral interview questions. These are questions about how you’ve handled certain work or school situations in the past. For example, you might be asked about a time you had to use your leadership skills, or a time you had to resolve a conflict between peers. The idea behind these questions is that how you behaved in the past gives the interviewer insight into how you might behave on the job.
As a college student or recent graduate, you will also likely get a number of questions about your college experience. Some of these questions will be about your choices in college, such as, why you chose your major, what your favorite course was, or why you selected the college you did. You might also get questions about your achievements in school, including group projects you worked on, papers you wrote, or awards you won.
Tips for Answering College Job Interview Questions
When you're a college student or recent graduate with little job experience, interviewing for a job can be a challenge. However, with practice, you can ace any interview.
Here are some tips for answering job interview questions well:
Connect your assets to the job. Before your interview, take a look at the job listing again. Circle any skills or abilities from the listing that are important to the job. Then, note the experiences you’ve had that demonstrate these skills. By thinking of particular experiences ahead of time, you’ll be able to come up with examples quicker during the interview.
Highlight your academic experiences. You do not only have to mention work experiences during your interview. Since you are a student (or recent graduate), you should highlight your academic experiences. These might include courses you’ve taken, assignments you’ve completed, or awards you won. Also consider extracurricular activities, volunteer positions, and internships. Think of how these experiences have helped you develop the skills and abilities required for the job.
Practice the STAR interview technique. When answering a question using a specific example, use the STAR interview technique. Describe the situation you were in, explain the task you had to accomplish, and detail the action you took to accomplish that task (or solve that problem). Then, describe the results of your actions. This technique is particularly useful when answering behavioral interview questions.
Research the company. You might get questions about the specific company, such as what you like about the company, or how you think you would fit in with the company culture. To prepare, research the company ahead of time. Check out their website, especially their “About Us” page. If you know anyone who works at the company, talk to them. Also, search on Google to find out the latest news on the company.
Practice, practice, practice. The most important way to appear confident in an interview is to practice answering common questions. Read the list of sample questions below, and review the sample answers. Then practice answering the questions on your own. The more you practice, the better you’ll feel in the interview.
Sample College Job Interview Questions & Answers
Personal/Common Interview Questions
- What is your greatest weakness? - Best Answers
- How do you plan to overcome your weakness? - Best Answers
- What is your greatest strength? - Best Answers
- How do you handle stress and pressure? - Best Answers
- How would you describe yourself? - Best Answers
- How do you think a friend or professor who knows you well would describe you? - Best Answers
- What motivates you? - Best Answers
- What unique attributes can you bring to this company and position? - Best Answers
Behavioral Interview Questions
- Describe a situation where you used your leadership skills to solve a problem - Best Answers
- Tell me about something you accomplished that you are proud of. - Best Answers
- Describe a major problem you encountered at work and how you dealt with it. - Best Answers
- Describe a time when you had a particularly heavy workload. How did you handle it? - Best Answers
- Tell me about a mistake you made at school or work, and what you learned from it. - Best Answers
Questions About Your College Experience
- Why did you select your college or university? - Best Answers
- Have you completed any internships? What did you gain from the experience? - Best Answers
- Why did you choose your major? - Best Answers
- What college subjects did you like best? Why? - Best Answers
- What college subjects did you like least? Why? - Best Answers
- Describe your most rewarding college experience. - Best Answers
- If I were to ask your professors to describe you in three words, what would they be? - Best Answers
- What was your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you handle it? -Best Answers
- Do you think that your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement? - Best Answers
- Did you prefer working independently or in groups on school projects? - Best Answers
- Do you have plans for continued study? - Best Answers
- What extracurricular activities have you participated in? - Best Answers
- What is your greatest strength as a student? - Best Answers
- How has your college experience prepared you for a career? - Best Answers
- Tell me about your educational background. - Best Answers
- Tell me about your favorite supervisor. What did you like about him or her? - Best Answers
- Tell me about your work experience? How has it prepared you for a career? - Best Answers