40 Interview Questions for Students (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

October 20, 2021

The best way to prepare for an interview is to practice your answers to common questions that interviewers might ask. Additionally, you can make a good impression by highlighting desirable traits like your accomplishments, skills and ability to manage high priority tasks. In this article, we discuss the reasons why students seek employment and provide sample interview questions and answers to help you get ready for your interview.

Why do students seek employment?

Students seek employment for a variety of reasons. Whether in high school, college or getting ready to graduate, students typically seek employment to pay for some if not all of their education, develop their skills and build their confidence in the workplace.

Additionally, students who take on a part- or full-time job often have better-developed time management and interpersonal skills than students who have no work experience. While working as a student can provide you with an income and additional means to support your education, it can also help you develop your professional experience, learn new skills and get a head start on your potential career path.

Read more: The New Graduate's Guide to Job Search

General questions

In a job interview, the interviewer will likely ask you several general interview questions that initiate the discussion and help the interviewer get to know you. Several general questions include:

  • Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

  • What do you know about our company?

  • What interests you about this job?

  • What are your strengths?

  • What do you consider your weaknesses?

  • Why do you want to work here?

  • Can you describe your ideal work environment?

  • How would your peers describe you?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • Do you have any questions?

Read more: 9 Best Questions to Ask Your Interviewer (With Video Examples)

Questions about experience and background

The interviewer will likely ask you questions regarding your educational background and any professional experience you might have. Some of these types of interview questions include:

  • What courses are you currently taking?

  • What do you enjoy most about your education?

  • Do you have any experience working in a similar role?

  • What kinds of extracurricular activities do you participate in?

  • How has your academic training prepared you for a career in this industry?

  • Do you have any plans to continue your education?

  • What professional goals have you set for yourself?

  • What academic achievements do you hope to accomplish by the time you graduate?

  • Have you ever disagreed with an instructor about your grades or performance evaluations? What were your reasons?

  • What skills do you hope to gain working in this job?

Related: 125 Common Interview Questions and Answers (With TIps)

In-depth questions

As you move through the job interview, you're likely to encounter more in-depth questions including:

  • How do you handle working under pressure?

  • How will you apply your current skills to this job?

  • Are you willing to work on weekends?

  • Have you ever had to resolve a conflict when working on a team?

  • Do you have any leadership experience?

  • Are you willing to attend professional development or additional training?

  • Are you comfortable with performing the required job tasks?

  • How will you be successful in this role?

  • What would you do if you had to complete a task you were unfamiliar with?

  • What kinds of people do you work best with? Why?

Related: First Job Interview Questions (With Examples)

Interview questions with sample answers

The following interview questions and example answers can give you an idea of what to expect during your interview:

Why did you choose your school?

This question is meant as a way to assess whether you have a clear direction of where you're going regarding your professional and academic development. Your answer will show the interviewer that you've thought out your educational path and that you have the discipline to make sound decisions that help you achieve your goals.

Example: "I chose my university because it is a very reputable and well-established school of science, and I wanted the chance to study with some of the brightest minds in the field. My school also offered the specialization I was looking for in biomechanical engineering."

What is your major? What degree are you pursuing?

Interviewers ask students this question so they can get a sense of your academic and eventual career path. Describe your major and intended degree path and highlight how your academic pursuits are related to the job.

Example: "I'm pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing, and my major is marketing and public relations. I'm currently involved in a class project that is teaching me essential skills like planning a campaign, using data and analytics to develop strategies and how to use different digital marketing approaches."

Why did you choose your major?

Interviewers want to know that you have a clear plan of where you're going in your development. Even if you're unsure about your current major, describe some of the aspects of the subject that intrigued you and connect your desire to learn with how you will succeed in the job.

Example: "I chose my major because marketing and the analytical processes it encompasses intrigue me. I also love the idea of applying what I learn within a business setting so I can help streamline overall marketing processes and meet goals that help businesses achieve a higher ROI."

What types of projects have you completed during your education?

Completing projects and assignments on time shows that you're responsible and organized—two traits the interviewer is likely searching for. In your answer, highlight one or two specific projects that required you to overcome challenges or develop one of your weak points.

Example: "I recently completed a mock marketing assignment for my analytics class where I had to plan out an entire strategy implementation. The biggest challenge I encountered was learning new software to input and track KPIs. The software was difficult to work with at first, but I used the tutorials and participated in a software study group after class to develop my skill with it. Learning how to use the software ultimately helped me complete my project, which I received an A for."

What makes you a good fit for this job?

This is a typical question interviewers ask to gain a better understanding of how your personality fits the job requirements along with the organization's culture. Use this opportunity to showcase your teamwork, leadership and other soft skills that are relevant to the job description and describe how these skills can be a benefit to the company.

Example: "My skills in organizing and motivating teams during class projects include delegating tasks, creating evaluation methods for each stage of a project and using my peers' feedback to help us complete difficult assignments. I'm confident that this will help me fit in with your customer service team, as my ability to collaborate and focus on exceeding expectations can be a beneficial addition to the team."

Read more: Interview Question: "Why Should We Hire You?"

What has been your biggest academic achievement?

Interviewers ask this question so they can evaluate your ability to set goals for yourself and stay motivated to achieve them. In your answer, talk about specific objectives you set and actions you took that helped you get to your final results.

Example: "My biggest academic achievement was my recent practicum. I completed my junior year practicum teaching third graders, and my supervisor evaluated my performance at a highly effective rating. This is huge for me because I've worked long hours to develop my ability to deliver engaging lessons and create unique approaches to working with gifted students and students with learning disabilities."

Can you describe a time when you contributed to a team to complete a class assignment?

Teamwork is a highly desirable trait. So, if the interviewer asks this question, they are likely evaluating your ability to work as a team to accomplish a common objective. In your answer, give specific examples of actions you took and the outcomes. You can discuss specific group projects you completed, competitive teams you were a part of or another team-oriented assignment.

Example: "Most of my classes require students to work in collaborative assignments. Because of this, I've had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people. My favorite project was a research project on the effects of parent involvement in the schools. My team and I wanted to prove that parental involvement in elementary students' academics led to higher achievements, and with our joint efforts were able to increase parents' involvement in their children's school community."

How do you manage your priorities to meet deadlines?

Interviewers are looking for your ability to apply effective time management and organizational skills. In your answer, talk about time management strategies you've used to help you organize your assignments and complete them under tight deadlines.

Example: "I usually start by making a square grid to list each task I have to complete in order of relevance and priority. Then I complete the most time-consuming tasks first, so I can take my time focusing on getting each element right, depending on the topic of the assignment. If it's a large assignment, such as a research project, this method helps me get the bulk of the project done so I can focus on the little things last."

What contributions have you made to your campus community?

This question allows interviewers to get a sense of how you view your involvement and contribution to a community. If you have experience volunteering on event committees, in academic clubs or other involvement, discuss this in your answer.

Example: "This year I joined Phi Beta Kappa honor society, because I believe in their values and what they do around campus. We've held fundraiser events to fund campus improvements. So far we've established a community garden that contributes to the campus snack bar, and we also donate a third of our harvests to food banks."

What aspects of your studies do you enjoy most?

The interviewer wants to know what motivates you, keeps you passionate and what inspires you. This can allow them to see how committed you will be if hired for the position. In your answer, highlight specific aspects of your major or a subject that you're most passionate about. You can also describe a favorite class and how your instructors inspire and motivate you.

Example: "I love my architectural design course. Since my major is architectural engineering, I favor my current design courses that challenge me to create innovative approaches to developing plans for building structures. I love the planning and designing stages as working on a design team and sharing ideas inspires and motivates me to keep improving my skills."

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