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Career Services Center

Ward Edwards 1200
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4985
Fax: 660.543.4668

Interview Tips & Questions

Interview Tips & Questions

Interview Tips & Questions

The key to a successful interview is to be prepared.  Schedule a practice interview with UCM’s Office of Career Services by calling 660-543-4985.

Interview Tips

  1. Know yourself, what you want, and your plan for getting there.
  2. Research the organization prior to the appointment.
  3. Research what the employer needs and match your strengths to those needs.
  4. Dress professionally.
  5. Bring resumes, references, and writing samples.
  6. Arrive on time 10 minutes early.
  7. Make allies of everyone . Who? Receptionist? Interviewer?.
  8. Concentrate on the first impression: use direct eye contact and a firm handshake.
  9. Establish rapport. Be optimistic, sincere, enthusiastic, and open.
  10. Express your willingness to learn and enthusiasm for your profession.
  11. Discuss what YOU can offer them - not what THEY can do for you.
  12. Be yourself.

Behavioral Based Interview Questions

"The purpose of behavioral based interviews is to discover how the interviewee has behaved in previous employment-related situations."

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of what you are describing to validate an answer.


Pick the situation that best fits the focus of the question. Describe a specific event, or situation from a previous job, volunteer experience, or any relevant event. Do not generalize; explain your past experience in enough detail so that the interviewer will understand what you are describing.


Explain the task you were trying to complete.


What action did you take to complete the task? What specific steps did you take? What was your particular contribution? Keep the focus on you.


What was the end result of your actions? What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? Don’t be shy about taking credit for your behavior.

  1. Give me an example of a time when you had to be relatively quick in coming to a critical decision.
  2. Provide me with a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy with which you did not agree.
  3. Tell me about a goal that you set for yourself and the steps you took to reach it.
  4. Describe the most significant report/presentation that you had to complete.
  5. Tell me about a time in which you had to build motivation in your co-workers or those you supervised.
  6. Explain a situation where you had to go “above and beyond the call of duty” to complete a task.
  7. Give me an example of a time where you disagreed with a policy/decision of your employer/supervisor.
  8. Describe a time where your work/performance was criticized by a supervisor.
  9. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or co-worker.
  10. Tell me about the most difficult assignment or responsibility you’ve been asked to take on.

Possible Interview Questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your greatest strengths?
  3. What are your weaknesses/areas you can improve upon?
  4. What have you done in the past three months to improve in these areas?
  5. Why are you interested in our organization?
  6. What college courses did you enjoy the most? The least? Why?
  7. What activities did you participate in during your college years?
  8. Who influenced you to pursue a career in _____ (insert your chosen profession)?
  9. What was the single greatest highlight of your college career?
  10. How would a group of your closest friends describe you? Faculty?
  11. What are some of the objectives you hope to achieve in your first year?
  12. What do you consider to be some of the most worthwhile innovations presently taking place in _____?
    (insert your of field of study/occupational interest in the blank)
  13. What do you consider to be the ideal work environment?

Questions You Can Ask an Employer

  1. What are the primary goals for this position?
  2. Where/How does this position fit in with the mission of the organization?
  3. How long have you (the interviewer) been with the organization?
  4. What types of internal/external training opportunities are available?
  5. Has your organization hired Central Missouri graduates previously?
  6. Describe a typical day in this position.
  7. What have you most/least liked about working for (name of employer)?
  8. What are the advancement opportunities with (name of employer)?
  9. Is this a newly created position or is someone being replaced?
  10. What are the company goals for the upcoming year?
  11. What are some of the typical problems I may encounter in this role?
  12. How does the rest of the interview process work from here? What is the time frame?