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Industrial Engineer Intern Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Industrial Engineer Intern interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Industrial Engineer Intern was written by and published on May 13th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

How do you stay motivated at work?

Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

The interviewer is looking for insight into why and how you are motivated to achieve workplace goals and succeed at the job. They may also be seeking to discover whether the factors that motivate you are aligned with the company's goals and with the role in which you would be working.

Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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30 Industrial Engineer Intern Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. How do you stay motivated at work?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is looking for insight into why and how you are motivated to achieve workplace goals and succeed at the job. They may also be seeking to discover whether the factors that motivate you are aligned with the company's goals and with the role in which you would be working.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Take some time to research the company and the job prior to the interview. The more you know about the organizational goals of the employer, the better equipped you'll be to respond. Reflect on your professional history and what you considered fulfilling about each job. Whether it was a successful meeting with a client, a complex project wrangled into submission, a new skill you mastered, or anything else, keep these positive moments in mind when conceptualizing your answer.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I'm really driven by results. I feel most motivated when I have a deadline to meet and enough time to figure out a strong strategy for accomplishing it. At my last job, our yearly goals were very aggressive, but I worked with my manager and the rest of the team to figure out a month-by-month strategy for meeting the year-end numbers. It was a real thrill to accomplish that."

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    2. What do you think makes a great industrial engineer?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      It's critical for the interviewer to find candidates who have a positive attitude about all parts of the job. They ask these types of questions to learn about what skills and attributes you feel are important to be a successful engineer.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      Industrial engineers study, develop, and manipulate systems in order to develop the most efficient processes possible. Industrial engineers must have general business knowledge as well as knowledge of mathematics, social sciences, and engineering in order to gain, analyze, predict, and evaluate data.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "The qualities that an industrial engineer must have include creativity and the ability to solve complex problems. They should also have good listening skills that would allow them to work well with a team and perform their duties well."

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    3. How do you feel about constructive criticism?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers ask this question to understand your response to constructive feedback. They want to see if you get defensive or upset or are quick to assign blame. They are usually less interested in the type of criticism you received and more interested in how you handled it. They're also trying to assess how well you handle challenging situations and determine whether you can accept and apply constructive criticism. By evaluating your ability to accept criticism in a previous role, they can learn more about you as an employee and how you would perform in their organization.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      Constructive criticism is an important part of professional growth, and this is a good chance to show your potential employer that you are open to improvement, and striving to do better. Explain that you think that criticism is an important agent of change, and you are open to receiving feedback from your peers, supervisors, and subordinates in order to further your growth and development.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I view criticism as an opportunity to improve my work. Constructive criticism allows me to learn about my weaknesses while continuing to grow and improve. I think it's important to keep an open mind and recognize that the person who is giving the advice is being helpful and just wants to see you succeed."

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    4. Tell me about a time that you were not satisfied with your work performance. What did you do about it?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interview questions around work performance are designed to explore whether you set high standards for yourself and strive to meet these standards. In asking this behavioral interview question the interviewer wants to know that you are able to accurately complete your tasks. They want hear about the steps you take to improve your skill set when needed.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Interview questions around work performance are designed to explore whether you set high standards for yourself and strive to meet these standards. Demonstrate how you try to attain high-performance standards and look for ways to correct any substandard performance or errors in your work. The goal of your response is to demonstrate to the interviewer that you have the maturity to respond productively and effectively in the face of dissatisfaction.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    5. What qualities make a good team player?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Most jobs require that you are able to communicate and work well with others. Different people have different comfort levels with teamwork, and the interviewer is interested in your thoughts on teamwork, your preferred method of doing your work, and your ability to collaborate with others.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Craft your answer in a way that you are able to highlight your strengths within your description. It can be helpful to review the job description to see what skills the company is looking for, as well as any specifics about their definition of a team player. If you have little experience with teamwork, focus your efforts on talking up your qualities that would be great contributions to a team. This indicates a willingness to be a positive contributor should you be called upon to participate in a team setting, as well as flexibility.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    6. When working on a project with other technical professionals, do you naturally lead or follow?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Some people are natural leaders, while others are excellent followers. By asking this question, the interviewer is trying to gauge how you would fit into the organization's current team dynamics and assess whether you are someone they should flag for future leadership responsibilities. They often want candidates who are flexible, adaptable, and willing to take on different roles based on the specific needs of the company or project.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Reflect on your previous leadership experiences. It's important to share a past example with the interviewer. While you may not have formal leadership experience as a manager or supervisor, you may have influenced a fellow student or coworker to act or respond in a positive way. Consider discussing an example of a time you showed characteristics of both a leader and a follower. Think about the choices you made and how the situation affected your decision to lead or follow.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    7. What's the most significant contribution you have made as an engineer?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers typically ask this question because they want to get a sense of what you can bring to their organization. They're thinking that if you truly did something outstanding at your past job or during school, then the chances are very good that you will be able to do something similar with them.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Whatever contribution you choose to discuss as part of your answer, you need to ensure it is relatable to the company and role you are interviewing for. Answering this question is the perfect opportunity to stand out from other job seekers. Read over the job description and make a note of the company's needs. Try to identify examples from your education, skills, accomplishments, and experience valuable to the specific company. You'll be far more likely to get hired if you show your knowledge about the company culture and role expectations and relate your past successes to the job. Think of an answer that shows your abilities to not only handle challenges at work but also proactively plan ahead to prevent challenges from occurring in the first place. Discuss how you went above and beyond to ensure that your contribution made a difference.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    8. What major challenges did you face during your last role? How did you handle them?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Every employee will face challenges from time to time. With this question, interviewers want to get a sense of your approach. Depending on the office culture, some approaches will make more sense than others.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You'll want to be able to discuss a real challenge or problem (from school or work), not an arbitrary or annoying occurrence. You also want to be able to define how you met the challenge successfully--think about ways to emphasize how you made the most of a difficult time. If possible, try to mention a challenge most relevant to the role you're applying to. Employers want to hire individuals who can turn challenges into opportunities.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    9. Do you have any questions for us?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers will ask this for a few obvious reasons. First, they are putting the interview work on you. Maybe they aren't sure what to ask you next and, instead, they are going to put the work on you to continue guiding the interview.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Being thoughtful about the questions you ask will hopefully get the conversation flowing organically--and lead to more questions from you. When you ask smart questions at the end of your interview, it can play a dual role: it provides you with valuable information and is likely to impress the hiring manager. When trying to decide what questions to ask, prioritize the questions that will show you were engaged and listening in the interview. Don't waste your precious interview time asking a question that's already been answered. Asking questions about the company reveals that you've done your research and gives you a better picture of the company's outlook, values, and culture. Plus, it gives the impression that you're interested in growing with the company long-term.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    10. You may work as part of a team for various engineering projects. What makes a team function successfully, in your opinion?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Employers ask this question because they want to know if you have experience working on a team and if your work style and experience will benefit their project teams. Many jobs require employees to work with one another regularly, which could include communicating, completing tasks, and planning projects or presentations. Employers want to know that you can communicate well with others and complete projects successfully while on a team.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Your answer to this question lets the employer know if their team environment might be the right one for you. Your answer can help them measure your idea of successful teamwork against their own company culture. Consider discussing a recent example and maintain a positive attitude when speaking about your previous employer and teammates.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    11. What are your career aspirations?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers use this question to get specific information about your potential at their company and whether your skillset will be a valuable addition to the team. Your answer will help them determine whether you're a good fit and have a future in their organization.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Your career aspirations include career paths you want to follow and what you want to do in the long term professionally. Answer this question based on the specific requirements in the job descriptions, your relevant past experience, and your education. Also, reassure the interviewer that you want to grow within the company. Explain to the interviewer how the job relates to your lifelong interest, career goals, and aspirations and how you plan to commit yourself to it.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    12. What type of work environment do you prefer?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers ask this question to establish how well you will fit in at the company and within the company culture. It also helps them identify your most productive work environment.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      At this stage in the interview process, you may not know what it would be like to work for the company. It's a good idea to maintain that you are flexible and adapt happily to any environment. Avoid being dishonest--if there are certain environments that you absolutely cannot work in, do not say that you can handle them.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    13. How do you prioritize your work?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Hiring managers ask this question as a way to evaluate your time management skills and to assess your ability to distinguish between urgent and important tasks. Your answer to this question allows the interviewer to get an idea of how you would manage and complete your work assignments, should they hire you for the job.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Highlighting your time management skills, organizational skills and your ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance can show employers you are capable of taking on multiple responsibilities and performing efficiently on the job. Before the interview, consider how you plan out your daily schedule and set deadlines for urgent and important tasks. If you create a to-do list first thing in the morning, explain how you list your tasks and rank them in order of their urgency and importance. This shows the interviewer your initiative and your ability to effectively organize your workload.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    14. How would your peers describe you?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers ask questions about how your coworkers describe you to get a general sense of your personality and self-awareness. Some employers might compare your answer to how your references described you as a way to test the accuracy of your self-assessment.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This question is open-ended and requires you to think about yourself from another person's perspective. A thorough and thoughtful answer shows strong interpersonal skills and perceptiveness. Use detailed, relevant examples and thoughtful word choices when sharing how others describe you to show the employer exactly how those traits would benefit their business.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    15. How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer wants to find out whether you understand how pressure affects you in the workplace and how you manage it. They want to know whether you can handle job-related stress and what you do in particularly stressful situations at work. This is especially important if you're interviewing for a position where stress is an integral part of the job--stress can have a negative impact on workplace performance.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Try to give an example of a specific time when you've experienced pressure at your job, then focus on how you manage your daily stress. Examples of this could be by practicing mindfulness, scheduling a 30-minute lunch break, or walking/running after work. Instead of focusing on your feelings and blaming others for your stress, highlight how you overcame the situation.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Common

    16. What can you bring to the company?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Hiring managers and interviewers are interested in learning how you may add value to the company. They are looking for specificity, creativity, and authenticity in your response to this question.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      These types of common interview questions give you the opportunity to discuss specific experiences or qualifications that make you a top candidate for the role. The goal is to convince your interviewer that they want you to work there. Make sure your answer is truthful and specific to the job and company you're interviewing for. Take time to conduct some research ahead of your interview to gain a deeper understanding of the job responsibilities and company culture. You want to figure out the main problems you're being hired to solve and any areas where the company or team is struggling or constantly running into issues.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Common

    17. Why do you want to work at this company?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Hiring managers are looking to hire someone who believes in the company's mission and wants to make a positive impact on the organization. They are searching for a candidate who is a strong fit for the position and the company.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Be prepared to discuss why the company and role appeal to you with genuine interest and excitement. Reference the organization's culture, mission, and vision, and share how these things align with your personal skills and career goals. The best way to make sure your answer leaves a positive impression is to do a fair amount of research and prepare your talking points ahead of time.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Competency

    18. Describe how you communicate complex technical information to a non-technical audience, such as when conducting a customer presentation.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Teaching a non-technical person something technical in a few minutes is important in any industry. The interviewer wants to see that you are a good translator between tech and non-tech-related issues. This question also addresses your problem-solving skills and ability to communicate effectively.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      When it comes to communicating ideas effectively, it's your job as the communicator/presenter to make sure your talk is enjoyable, to wow the crowd, and to help get across what you want to say in a clear, simple, and easy-to-follow way. It's important to remember that every aspect of a presentation should be engaging and visually interesting to the audience. It's also important to make sure that your audience is paying attention from the very beginning. Avoid losing your audience in the early stages, as this will likely mean that you've lost your audience for the entire talk.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Competency

    19. What are your greatest strengths?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The main reason interviewers ask this question is to identify whether your strengths align with the needs of the company and the job's responsibilities. The goal of the interviewer is to make a match between your credentials and strengths with the skills needed to succeed in the job.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you aren't sure about your strengths, ask some of your peers or professors what they see as your best qualities. Refer to any written feedback or references you've received in the past from peers or managers. Before the interview, prepare a list of your skills that best match those the employer is seeking. This list can include education or training, soft skills, hard skills, or past work experiences.
      During the interview, discuss attributes that will best qualify you for the specific job and set you apart from the other candidates.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    20. What are you most passionate about?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers ask this question because they want to get to know you better. They also want to know what excites you, even if it's not job-related, and also get a glimpse of what your life is like outside of work. This question helps the employer work out whether you're a well-rounded person with a life outside of the office. Even if the hiring manager doesn't share your passion, they will relate to your enthusiasm.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Before the interview, prepare by picking a passion that you will talk about if you get asked this question. During your interview, remember to always be honest, and when it's appropriate, clearly communicate how your passion would make you an asset to your potential employer. You should aim to demonstrate your commitment to your passion, whatever that might be. Answer with honesty and just enough detail to successfully show the hiring manager a bit more about who you are.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Education

    21. How has your education prepared you for an engineering role with our company?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers care about whether your education prepared you for a career with them. When asking this question, they are trying to find out if you've made practical, real-world connections between your academic studies and the professional world.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Focus on the real-world applications of your education. If you had classroom projects that are tied to real engineering solutions, use them. If you had any type of case studies class, this is usually a good example to use. If you have had work experience and/or past internships, this is an opportunity to talk specifically about what you learned in the classroom that helped you in your work assignments.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Education

    22. How do you stay current with the latest technology?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers ask this question to find out if you are someone who values continuous learning and shows a passion for the industry. They want to hire candidates who can contribute to their business by taking advantage of new technologies to deliver better features or reduce costs.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is an opportunity to form an overall impression of how interested you are in what they do. Discuss what you do to stay current and give enough details to show that you really do. An appropriate answer is anything at all to indicate that you try to keep your skillset updated or are aware of changes in the engineering tech world.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • General

    23. What interests you about this job?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewer wants to know how your experience matches up with the responsibilities of the job. They want to know specifics about your personality, goals, and qualifications, and how those match up with the open position. When deciding between comparable candidates, hiring managers will choose someone who is genuinely interested in the company's mission, operating philosophy, and approach.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The best way to answer this question is to do your research on the position and provide details on how you're the right fit. Avoid giving generic answers. Instead, tailor your response to show that this role is particularly well-suited to your skills, experience, and interests in a way that will benefit both you and the employer. Try to be enthusiastic in your response--this is an opportunity to talk about what you find appealing about the position, and you should seem positive and eager to take on the role in your response.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Goal

    24. Where do you see yourself in five years?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Hiring managers want to know that the candidate will be a fit for the company in both the short and long term. Considering how expensive it is to hire and onboard new employees, interviewers want to feel confident that the people they hire have the ambition to excel and potential for growth but who aren't already plotting how to land their next jobs.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Show how your professional goals and the job you're applying for align. Even before candidates field this question from hiring managers, they'll want to prepare by thinking through what their short- and long-term career goals are. You should avoid sharing too much detail when it comes to timelines and job titles. Discuss more generally the skills you hope to accrue, the experiences you hope to have, and the impact you hope to make.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Leadership

    25. Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership skills.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Everyone in a company, even individual contributors and consultants, is a leader in some area, making leadership skills and qualities important to have no matter what your title. Even if a job isn't a managerial role, companies typically look for someone with leadership skills because they want a person who can grow in a position within the company and have the potential to become a leader within the company in the future.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, take some time to think about what you think makes a strong leader and what sort of leader you are and want to be, whether or not anyone would be formally reporting to you in this role. Make a list of the qualities, skills, and actions you value in a leader and use this to define what leadership means to you. Define what leadership means to you in one to two sentences, and consider structuring your answer to this question using the STAR method. Do not answer by saying you have no leadership experience--everyone has demonstrated leadership at some point in their life.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Management

    26. How do you stay organized?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Employers ask questions related to the organization because it is an important interpersonal skill that promotes productivity and efficiency. People who are organized typically use their time, energy, and resources more wisely than those who are disorganized.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Prior to the interview, think about the tools you use to keep yourself organized in school or at work. By describing the specific ways you use these tools and how they help you accomplish work-related tasks, you're demonstrating your level of organization. You may want to describe how you save time by focusing on one task at a time to produce higher-quality work. If you work quickly with fewer distractions, you may explain how you avoid checking emails and answering phone calls when working on high-priority assignments.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Management

    27. Describe your ideal manager.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers will ask this question to assess how you'll respond to supervision if you're hired. They'll try to determine whether you have any issues with authority to determine how well you'll work within the company's management framework.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Check out the company's website, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube before the interview to try to get clues about the company's general management style. Talk about your past jobs to demonstrate how you've worked well with former managers and supervisors. Be direct, get to the point, and then conclude by sharing an example, and/or explaining why you work well under a variety of different management and leadership styles.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Situational

    28. What is the greatest challenge you have faced at work?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers want to get more information on how well you can manage projects and challenging situations. Furthermore, they want to assess your approach to dealing with situations at work and how your skills could be of value in the role you are interviewing for.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Think of how you've overcome challenges, setbacks, struggles, problems, adversity, difficulties, or hardships in school or at work. Take time to prepare your answers in advance so that you're able to demonstrate how you deal with challenges and describe what you learned from them. When answering, be specific in your examples. Use the Experience + Learn = Grow model to formulate your answer. Discuss the challenge that you faced, the actions you took to overcome the challenge, the outcome, and what you learned from the process.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Situational

    29. Describe a time you had to work on a team and something did not go well. What would you do differently?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      When interviewers ask you questions about things you would have done differently at work, they want to gain insight into your job-related weaknesses. They also want to learn more about how you respond to failure and whether you can identify and address your shortcomings proactively--a valuable asset in any employee.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Start by reflecting on past work experiences and make a list of situations that didn't turn out the way you would have liked. Think about what you learned from your experiences and what you would change to strengthen your ability to handle similar situations in the future. When answering this question, it can be helpful to talk about how you'd deal with a similar situation now. This shows how you've grown and learned. Mention any steps you took to upgrade your skills, increase your knowledge base, or modify behaviors. As with all interview responses, be sure to select issues you can discuss honestly and sincerely.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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  • Situational

    30. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you have faced in college or at work, and how you dealt with it.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers ask this question to learn how you've handled specific situations in the past. In this case, how you handle conflict in college or at work, how resilient you are to adversity, and how quickly you can recover. The idea is that past performance will say a lot about how you would handle yourself if hired for the position.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Describe a challenge that you encountered. If the challenge or conflict was not extremely obvious, then also explain to the interviewer how you recognized that there was a problem. This sort of proactive problem-solving is a very attractive skill in an employee. The job description is like a cheat sheet that tells you what are the most important skills required for the job. If the job description mentions project management, then use a challenge that involved showcasing your strong project management skills.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on May 13th, 2022

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