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You should always answer questions in positive terms: the interviewer wants to know what has attracted you to the job, and what qualities you can bring to it.

  • Why have you applied for this job?
  • Why did you choose the course you did at college/university?
  • Which aspects of the course did you find most enjoyable, least enjoyable, most difficult and why?
  • What are you looking for in a job?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • When you have had a deadline to meet, what have you done to ensure that you have met the deadline?
  • When you have had to choose a partner or team members to work with on a project, how did you go about making the choice?
  • What do you think makes a good team?
  • Why would others want you on their team?
  • What would you do if a team member was not pulling their weight?
  • How did your research group co-ordinate their efforts?
  • Tell me about a time when something has not gone well for you - what did you do to overcome this? What would you do differently next time?
  • How do you see this job fitting into your career path?
  • What other jobs have you applied for? How are your applications progressing?
  • Why do you want to leave your current job? 
    (It is important when answering this question not to be too negative about your current employer.)
  • What sort of things put you under pressure? Give me an example and tell me how you cope
  • What would your colleagues say about you?
  • Tell me about a presentation you have done - how did you prepare for it? What went well? What went badly?
  • What do you know about this organisation?

You should also be prepared to answer questions about your health, more technical questions related to your qualifications, research or current job, plus any interests you have mentioned on your CV or application form.

See also:
Interview Techniques
Typical Interview Questions