Sample Interview Questions



Why did you apply for this position?
Tip: How do you think that you might fit into this company

Would you tell us what attracts you to a career with us? How do you see your studies, skills, experience and personal qualities contributing to the work of the organisation?

Tip: How do you think that you might fit into this company

Describe a time when you had to deal with conflicting demands. How did you deal with this situation and what was the outcome?

Can you describe a time where you have been required to perform as part of a team? What was the situation? What part did you play in the team and what was the outcome of the exercise?

How do you establish a working relationship with new people?
Tip: Team skills

Where do you expect to be in 5 years time? What will you do if you are not successful in gaining this position?
Tip: Demonstrate to the interviewer that you have thought about what it is you want from work and what you hope to achieve. Let them know you are flexible however, and willing to explore new opportunities.

What particular skills and qualities do you bring to the workforce? What other skills would you like to develop in the future?
Tip: Strengths and weaknesses

Tell me about a challenging situation you have faced. What was the situation and how did you cope with it?

Is there an achievement of which you are particularly proud? What is it? Why is it significant?

Imagine that you are a member of a small team responsible for the development and production of an internal publication. Your team is dependent on another workgroup to provide the data which will form the basis of your publication. The deadline for completing this project is not able to be relaxed. (a) What factors do you think might affect the team's ability to meet the publication deadline? (b) What could the team do to ensure the project is completed on time?
Tip: Hypothetical questions allow the interviewer to identify key competencies deemed important by the employer. No right or wrong answer

What are the key elements of measuring performance and how can you establish whether an outcome represents a success? (Answer this in terms of your own work or study experience.) More specifically, what do you think might be some key indicators of the successful performance of a national agency?
Tip: STAR (Behavioural +Situational question)

You have demonstrated in your CV that you have knowledge of entomology. Could you please expand on your experience and tell us what you think your strengths are in this field. An important component of the position will be the maintenance of water quality parameters within acceptable limits for the species. Can you outline your experience in water quality testing? What do you feel are the most important water quality variables?
Tip: Multi-part question

The ability to work independently within a structured team is essential to the position. This will require the successful applicant to be self-starting, able to prioritise tasks, be a good communicator, as well as showing considerable initiative. Can you give us some examples where you have worked within a team environment and demonstrated these abilities?
Tip: STAR + multi-part question

What do you feel is the potential for aquaculture in Australia and what are some of the major impediments to its development? What are some of the major aquaculture species cultured in freshwater? As well as the position involving general maintenance of the aquaria and pond facilities, a significant component will involve participation in scientific experiments through the collection and collation of research data. Can you describe previous experience you have had in the day to day running of scientific experiments?
Tip: STAR + multi-part question

The research project and facilities the successful applicant will be involved with receives considerable attention from the general public. Therefore, a component of the job will involve liaising with the general public and media. This requires the delivery of information in a simple precise manner. How confident do you feel you are in delivering sometimes complex information in a simple manner?
Tip: give examples

What computer programs are you familiar with, and more specifically, what programs would you use to write a report, enter research data, and to prepare a poster or seminar.
Tip: give examples of where you have applied the use of these programs.

You have had an opportunity to look at the statistical table from the publication (this was supplied before the interview). (a) Imagine you were asked to write a commentary on the information in the table. Are there any significant or curious or interesting features revealed by the data which you think should be highlighted, and if so, what might you say about them? Can you offer any suggestions to explain these features? (b) What is your opinion of the general layout of the table? How might it be improved?
Tip: multi-part question