When you are searching for employment, be sure to look beyond job posting boards and develop effective job search strategies! Click the link above to access job search resources. Your first step may be to assess your skills and identify the type of work that suits you.
A cover letter is an introduction document within your job application package and should almost always accompany a resumé. A cover letter demonstrates your written communication skills and speaks to your interest in an organization, in addition to highlighting your qualifications for a position.
The key to a successful interview is preparation and practice. Think of the interview as a two-way exchange of information between you and the employer – each party is evaluating the other to determine if they are the right fit.
To learn more about interview preparation, you can view our Interview Webshop, read through our Interview Workbook, look at some sample interview questions, and finally, book an Interview Skills or Interview Preparation appointment with a Career Consultant.
Sample Behavioral Descriptive Interview Questions
(grouped by skill)
Tell me about a situation in which you have had to adjust to changes over which you had no control. How did you handle it?
Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a classmate’s or colleague’s working style in order to complete a project or achieve your objectives.
How was your transition from high school to college? Did you face any particular problems? How did you handle them?
ANALYTICAL SKILLS / PROBLEM SOLVING
Describe the project or situation that best demonstrates your analytical abilities. What was your role?
Tell me about a time when you had to analyze information and make a recommendation. To whom did you make the recommendation? What was your reasoning? What kind of thought process did you go through? Why? Was the recommendation accepted? If not, why?
Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem. What did you do? What was your thought process? What was the outcome? What do you wish you had done differently?
What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision? Why?
Tell me about a recent successful experience in making a speech or presentation? How did you prepare? What obstacles did you face? How did you handle them?
Have you ever had to "sell" an idea to your classmates or co-workers? How did you do it? Did they accept your idea?
Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa). How did you handle the situation? What obstacles or difficulties did you face? How did you deal with them?
Tell me about a time in which you had to use your written communication skills in order to get an important point across.
When was the last time you thought "outside the box" and how did you do it? Why?
Tell me about a problem that you’ve solved in a unique or unusual way. What was the outcome? Were you happy or satisfied with it?
Give me an example of when someone brought you a new idea that was odd or unusual. What did you do?
Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all the information you needed. How did you handle it? Why? Were you happy with the outcome?
Give me an example of a time when you had to be quick in coming to a decision. What obstacles did you face? What did you do?
What is the most difficult decision you’ve had to make? How did you arrive at your decision? What was the result?
Give me an example of an important goal which you have set and tell me how you reached it. What steps did you take? What obstacles did you encounter? How did you overcome the obstacles?
Tell me about a goal that you set that you did not reach. What steps did you take? What obstacles did you encounter? How did it make you feel?
Describe a project or idea (not necessarily your own) that was implemented primarily because of your efforts. What was your role? What was the outcome?
Describe a situation in which you recognized a potential problem as an opportunity. What did you do? What was the result? What do you wish you had done differently?
Tell me about a project you initiated. What did you do? Why? What was the outcome? Were you happy with the result?
Tell me about a time when your initiative caused a change to occur.
What was the best idea you came up with during your professional or college career? How did you apply it?
Discuss a time when your integrity was challenged. How did you handle it?
Tell me about a time when you experienced a loss for doing what is right. How did you react?
Tell me about a business situation when you felt honesty was inappropriate. Why? What did you do?
Give a specific example of a policy you conformed to with which you did not agree. Why?
Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. How/why was this person difficult? How did you handle it? How did the relationship progress?
Describe a situation where you found yourself dealing with someone who didn’t like you. How did you handle it?
Describe a recent unpopular decision you made. How was it received? How did you handle it?
What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients in guiding and maintaining successful business relationships? Give me examples of how you have made these work for you.
Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa). How did you handle the situation?
Tell me about a time when you had to work on a team with someone you did not get along with. What happened?
Describe a situation where you had a conflict with another individual, and how you dealt with it. What was the outcome? How did you feel about it?
Tell me about a team project when you had to take the lead or take charge of the project? What did you do? How did you do it? What was the result?
Describe a leadership role of yours. Why did you commit your time to it? How did you feel about it?
What is the toughest group that you have had to get cooperation from? What were the obstacles? How did you handle the situation? What were the reactions of the group members? What was the end result?
PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION / TIME MANAGEMENT
Describe a situation that required you to do a number of things at the same time. How did you handle it? What was the result?
How do you prioritize projects and tasks when scheduling your time? Give me some examples.
Tell me about a project that you planned. How did your organize and schedule the tasks? Tell me about your action plan.
Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?
Tell me about a time when you worked with a classmate or colleague who was not doing their share of the work. How did you handle it?
Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or help others to compromise. What was your role? What steps did you take? What was the result?
Tell me about a time when you had to work on a team that did not get along. What happened? What role did you take? What was the result?
Sample Traditional Interview Questions
Tell me about yourself.
What is your greatest strength? Weakness?
Where do you see yourself in three to five years?
How would a friend or teacher describe you?
What courses do enjoy most? Least?
If hired, what abilities would you bring to this position?
Why did you leave your last job?
What did you like the most/least about your last job?
Can you give me some examples of things you’ve done in previous jobs that demonstrate your willingness to work hard?
Do you enjoy working more with people or with things? Why? What do you feel you have to offer the job?
How do you feel your course work prepared you for the position you are seeking in our organization?
Do you think your grades reflect your true abilities?
Use the resources here to prepare your CV (Curriculum Vitae) and personal letter to apply for academic positions, prepare your application for a professional program or graduate studies and to apply research based positions.
Career Services at the University of Manitoba, along with 43 other partner career centres across Canada, co-won the Excellence in Innovation (Student Engagement) award at the CACEE conference for the It All Adds Up campaign.
474 UMSU University Centre, 65 Chancellors Circle
University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada
Phone: 204 474-9456
Fax: 204 474-7516 email@example.com