Interview Question Tips

Tell me about your biggest leadership experiences.

Good: Narrow it down to maybe 2 big examples and talk about not only how you led the team but also how everyone worked together. Talk about what you learned from the experience and how you improved your leadership skills in the process.

Not so good: Don’t ramble. Don’t list every leadership position. Try to emphasize that while you led it was also a joint effort- don’t say you did it all by yourself.

What was a challenge you had working in a team and how did you overcome it?

Good: Show maturity and growth from the situation. Emphasize what you learned from the situation and how you made it better.

Not so good: Don’t put blame on other people and don’t leave the question without mentioning how you worked to resolve it.

What is your biggest weakness?

Good: Something real but not too bad. Explain why you believe it’s a weakness and what you have done to improve on that.

Not so good: Don’t say perfectionism. Don’t say a weakness that is an obvious strength.

Tell me about a time you had to convince someone of something and how you did it?

Good: Great area to discuss a school project or club that you started. Weaving leadership into this question would be ideal. Show that you are respectful but also persuasive. Be specific.

Not so good: Don’t boast, and don’t waste the opportunity to talk about leadership by discussing something trivial like going to the mall vs bookstore.

Tell me about a time you faced an ethical dilemma.

Good: Talk about personal growth and how you worked through making your ultimate decision. Show maturity here and reflection. Feel free to mention mentors and people you talked to for advice/ help.

Not so good: Don’t automatically show a biased or one sided conclusion—in other words show that you weighed both sides but ultimately made your choice.

Why do you want to go to school X?

Good: Give specific reasons regarding academics and extra curricular as well as include points about culture and fit. If at all possible talk to people you know who went there or current students to get a flavor of the school and show true understanding. Can acknowledge that it’s a great school just don’t over flatter. Be enthusiastic and smile!

Not so good: Don’t over flatter the interviewer or school. Don’t use bombastic language. Don’t over do it but do show enthusiasm.

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive who would it be?

Good: It is okay to take a minute to think about this question, but when answering make sure to have good reasoning. Picking someone famous and quite common is okay as long as you have good thoughts/ reasons to back up your choice.

Not so good: Talking about an extremely famous person simply because it would be “cool or fun,” also not great to talk about someone you don’t know anything about in case there are follow up questions

If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life what 3 things would you take with you?

Good: Something personal, something practical, and something fun (considering it is the rest of your life, you may want to have fun)—these are all suggestions and by no means the only way to answer this question. The main thing to remember is to pick things that show different parts of your personality—make sure to explain the choices.

Not so good: Picking things that are very materialistic and not meaningful. Also it is not good to waste the 3 things on objects that don’t tell the interviewer key things about your personality.

What historical event would you like to have witnessed?

Good: Pick something that shows what you care about, if not able to think fast as long as you can explain well most things will work.

Not so good: Don’t pick something trivial or not important in a larger context.

If your friends had only three words to describe you what would they be and why?

Good: Show diverse elements of your personality and give a tiny anecdote with a couple of them, showing traits that demonstrate integrity and maturity without sounding phony.

Not so good: Can show good personality traits but don’t be over flattering of yourself.