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Common Graduate Interview Questions

Whilst you are writing your dissertation, you might also be applying for graduate jobs at the same time. We have put together some interview questions below to help you with those first interviews and to ensure that you’re prepared and can secure a role.

Over time we will be adding in the best responses to these interview questions and giving even more tips and guidance, so please feel free to bookmark this page for yourself and check back regularly.

CV based questions

  • Which university do you attend?
  • Why did you choose the university you are attending?
  • Which course are you studying?
  • What is your favourite subject?
  • What is the title of your dissertation?
  • Do you prefer to work in groups or alone?
  • Details about the work that you have done to date
  • Details about your extra-curriculum activities
  • Questions about your interests
  • What have you done during time gaps in your CV?


Promotional questions

  • Why do you want to work for this organisation?
  • Inspiring confidence. What characteristics do you possess that would make you a good manager or a leader?
  • Provide a list of your interests and give examples of your achievements.
  • Tell us why we would want to give you a role in our company
  • What makes you different from the other candidates?
  • What makes a good leader?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Give an examples when you had to work with other people to solve a problem
  • What is your most impressive achievement to date and why?
  • What demotivates you at work?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • How do you deal with conflict?
  • How do you manage your time and tasks?
  • What do you think will make you successful in your career?


Questions about the company

  • Considering the nature of our business, what do you think is the most valuable type of business information we need as an organisation?
  • Highlight for me the strategy of the company and what we have achieved to date
  • What do you think will happen to general market conditions in the next 18 months?
  • Who do you think are our main competitors? How do you think our company is different?
  • What made you apply to this company?
  • Do you think our company is ethical and why?
  • How is our company helping the environment?


Competency questions

  • Describe a marketing campaign you would put together to attract graduates to this job?
  • Describe how your previous work experience supports your current application?
  • Describe a time when you were part of a work group, what did you do to ensure that the group share common goal?
  • Describe, with reasons, why you want to work at our organisation?
  • Describe a position of responsibility that you have held, or any personal achievement, that will support your application
  • Describe a situation when you failed
  • Describe a time when despite the failings of others, you delivered as a group. What exactly was your role in this?
  • Describe a time when you felt you lacked the experience to deal with the task, project or situation. Why did you take this on? How did you feel? How did you handle the situation?


Technical questions

  • What does “mutual” mean?
  • What professional qualifications are you aiming to get while working?
  • You are presented with a pack of data and are required to put together a management presentation with your recommendations.


Tricky questions

  • How many people can you fit inside the M25?
  • What is the cubic volume of the earth?
  • How would you go about building a short wave radio?
  • How many funeral directors are there in the UK?
  • What is the best invention in human history and why?
  • If you could go back in time, where would you go and why?


Key Tips

  • Be time specific (e.g. in January, in October 2017)
  • Focus on what you did (e.g. my role…)
  • Describe what happened, not what might have happened
  • Be confident
  • Stay positive
  • Don’t say anything negative about your current boss, company or university
  • Remain enthusiastic (but don’t go too far with this)
  • Be honest
  • Think before you talk
  • Stay Calm
  • Do not name drop
  • Don’t be late