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SAMPLE COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Outline your responses to the questions below. Your answers should be relatively consistent
across employers but tweaked to the needs of each individual situation.

1. Tell Me About Yourself


Your 60-second introduction and general positioning statement are the basis for developing your
answer to this question; be sure to highlight your key messages in this opening question to direct
the interviewer.

2. Why Should I Hire You?


Your answer to this should be related to your answer for “Tell Me About Yourself” and summarize
the key messages about yourself that you have consistently articulated during the interview.

3. Why are you interested in this industry/company/position/type of work?


This answer should explain your internal motivation, the “why.” Don’t just talk about the benefits
that the job can offer to you or your career.

4. Why did you choose Rotman?


This question will be particularly important if you are pursuing employment in an area not
traditionally associated with Rotman or the GTA. Be sure to present a rational decision making
process.

5. Where do you want to be five years from now?

6. What are your long-term career goals as well as short term?

6. Why are you seeking a career change?

8. How have your career goals changed in the last five years? What prompted that change?

SAMPLE BEHVIOURAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

There are five main categories of interview questions: Traditional/Common Questions, Situational
Questions (Hypothetical), Technical Questions (Job/Role Specific), Case-based Questions, and
Scenario-based, Behavior/Competency Based Questions.

This section will provide examples of behavioural interview questions that have been grouped
under key employment characteristics. The STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Result) is the
primary framework used when answering behavioural interview questions. More information can
be found on the STAR Method in the MBA Interviewing Essentials presentation. It is recommend
you think of atleast two situations for each question, as recruiters will sometimes prompt for
additional examples.

Please note that the sample behavioural questions provided below can fall within more than one
group.
Time Management

Tell us about the time that you found yourself the busiest in your life, and explain how you dealt
with it.

Tell us about a time that you had to meet a very tight deadline and how did you handle it.

Tell us about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize
your tasks.

Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping
skills.

Give me an example of when you were able to meet the personal and professional (or
academic) demands in your life yet still maintained a healthy balance.

Our department is fast-paced. What experience do you have in working in a fast-paced


environment? Do you anticipate any difficulties?

Describe a situation that would demonstrate your ability to work under pressure.

Tell us about a time when you failed to meet a deadline.

Provide us with an example of how you have asserted yourself in a high pressure situation or in
an emergency?

Your supervisor has given you a rush assignment. The assignment is in conflict with an assignment
that was given to you by the supervisor’s boss. How will you handle these assignments?

Judgment

Give us a situation that illustrates your good judgment.

Tell us about a time when you were asked to submit a report that due to time and resource
constraints, compromised quality?

Describe a politically sensitive situation that you were in and how you handled the situation.

Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a
problem.

Risk

Give us an example of the greatest risk you have taken.

Describe the greatest risk that you’ve taken which resulted in failure.

Leadership

Tell me about a time when you really believed in your idea, but your boss didn't buy it. What did
you do?

Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership.

Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.

Project Management

Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.


Describe the last time that you undertook a project that demanded a lot of initiative.

What do you do when you are faced with an obstacle in an important project? Give an
example.

Recall a time when you were assigned what you considered to be a complex project.
Specifically, what steps did you take to prepare for and finish the project? Were you happy with
the outcome? What one step would you have done differently if given the chance?

Tell me about a time when your project took an unexpected turn and how you handled
that situation.

Change Management

Tell me about a time when you had to change your approach or analysis.

Tell me about a time when you had to change your approach in the middle of a project or
assignment.

Describe two different situations in which you have had to adjust quickly to changes over which
you had no control. What was the impact of the change on you?

Tell us about a change you brought about in your last role?

Decision Making

Describe a time of when you were in crisis. What did you do and what was your role in it?

Tell me about a bad decision you have made and what did you learn from it?

Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision. Were you
content with the end result or disappointed? How comfortable are you in making such quick
decisions?

Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision. How did you
overcome this?

Tell me about the most challenging problem you have faced in the last year.

Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.

Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.

Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem.

We can sometimes identify a small problem and fix it before it becomes a major problem. Give
an example(s) of how you have done this.

Recall a time from your work experience when your manager or supervisor was unavailable and
a problem arose. What was the nature of the problem? How did you handle that situation? How
did that make you feel?

Give us an example of your ability to make decisions under pressure.

Persuasion
Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone
to see things your way.

Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did
not agree.

Describe a situation when you were able to have a positive influence on the actions of others.

Relationship Management

Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-
worker.

Tell about a time when you built rapport quickly with someone under difficult conditions.

What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients in guiding and maintaining successful business
relationships?

Working with Others/Teamwork

Tell me an example of when you have had a conflict with your group members.

Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.

Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when that
individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).

Tell us about a successful team of which you were a member of. What was the most outstanding
characteristic of that team? What did you contribute to the team?

Describe a time when you took leadership during a team project.

Tell us about a situation in which you only would have succeeded as part of a team effort as
opposed to an individual effort.

Have you ever worked on a team or with a boss that you had difficulty getting along with? Tell
me about that situation.

Tell us about the most difficult or frustrating individual that you've ever had to work with, and
how you managed to work with that person.

Tell of a time when you worked with a colleague who was not completing his or her share of the
work. Who, if anyone, did you tell or talk to about it? What steps if any were taken to correct
your colleague? What was your role in this?

In a supervisory or group leader role, have you ever had to discipline or counsel an employee or
group member? What was the nature of the discipline? What steps did you take? How did that
make you feel? How did you prepare yourself?

Some people work best as part of a group -- others prefer the role of individual contributor. How
would you describe yourself?

Describe a situation in which you were required to work with people at various levels within your
organization. What was the most important step that you took to work effectively with these
people?

Analytical Skills
Tell me an example of when you used your analytical skills to solve a problem.

Describe a project or situation that best demonstrates your analytical abilities.

Tell us about your analytical skills. What steps do you take when analyzing a complex problem?

Tell us about a particular difficult problem that you analyzed and what was your
recommendation?

Tell us about a situation where the analysis that you performed was incorrect. What would you
have done differently?

Give us two examples of your ability to deal with detail accurately.

Communication Skills

Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone's
opinion.

Describe a situation where you felt you had not communicated well. How did you correct the
situation?

Describe a time when you had to use your written communication skills to get an important point
across.

What was the most difficult question you’ve fielded during a public speaking engagement?

What was the most challenging presentation that you’ve made? How well did you meet the
challenge?

Tell us about the worst presentation that you’ve ever made. What did you learn from that
experience?

Work Style/Work Ethic

Tell me an example of when you used creative thinking to add value.

Describe a situation where you exceeded expectations.

Describe a time when you set your sights too high (or too low).

Describe a situation where the results did not turn out as you anticipated.

Tell me about your biggest failure.

Tell me about your greatest success.

Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a
job done.

Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish ultimately failed.

Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.

Describe two examples of when you were not very satisfied or pleased with your performance.
What did you do about it?

Tell us about a time when your work was criticized. What did you do/how did you handle it?
One of the requirements for this job is to be a self-starter. Give us an example of your ability to be
a self-starter.

Resourcefulness

Tell me about a time when you had to use your network to solve a problem.

Tell me about a situation where you used your outside contacts to advance in your career or
position.

Give two examples of things you've done in previous jobs or school that demonstrate your
willingness to work hard.

Describe a time when you took personal accountability for a conflict and initiated contact with
the individual(s) involved to explain your actions.

Creativity

Describe a situation in your professional and/or academic experience in which you came up
with a creative solution to a problem.

Integrity

Related to us the last time you dealt with an ethical question on the job and how did you handle
the situation?

Tell us about a situation that would exemplify your integrity.

Tell us about a situation that would illustrate to us how much your coworkers trust you and an
example of how much your supervisor trusts you.

Tell us about a time when you had to do something/make a decision in your professional career
that was against your personal moral/ethical standards.

Describe a situation where you were honest and your honesty worked against you. What would
you have done differently?