Santa Clara University

Career Center

Sample Questions & Answers

  • iconQuestion: Tell me about yourself.

    I decided to major in Finance because it offered a wide range of courses related to analysis and quantification of results. In my current internship, I have been able to put these skills to use in various projects working with vendors and purchasing contracts. For example, I analyzed performance data on competing vendors...(tell an example - in CAR format - that shows your analytical skills)

  • iconQuestion: Why did you apply for this job?

    There are two major reasons. First, I’m really enthusiastic about working for XYZ because...(show that you know something about them).

    Also, I believe my skills, academic training and experience are an excellent fit with this position. In my seasonal job in retail, I was very detail-oriented as I organized holiday merchandise in a way that increased sales and repeat customer visits. I know your position requires lots of attention to detail as well as building great relationships with internal customers, so I’m convinced I could be successful here as well.

  • iconQuestion: What is your greatest strength?  Or greatest accomplishment?

    My greatest strength is…. Or, my greatest accomplishment highlights one of the strengths I would bring to the job. (Pick one strength and an example - in CAR format - to finish your answer)

  • iconQuestion: Tell me about a time when you were creative?  Or took the initiative?

    One example is my current internship. I had to work extremely hard in the beginning to establish myself as a competent professional who could take on advanced responsibilities. At first, my employer viewed me as a student worker who just made copies, until I took it upon myself to create and implement a new database of key clients. This project was a huge undertaking, but I executed it well and as a result saved time for the partners and gained their respect and thanks. (This is just another example - in CAR format - that highlights a skill of creativity/initiative/results orientation.)

  • iconQuestion: What is your greatest weakness?

    When I first started in my advertising internship, my desire to avoid conflict was a real issue because I was not able to say “no” to any request. I sought out a mentor to coach me on ways to deal with these situations and I’ve now become much more effective in this area. For example, I’ve been able to manage my workload better by negotiating priorities for special requests and meeting all critical deadlines.

  • iconQuestion: Tell me about the best team you worked with and why it was so good.

    The one that comes immediately to mind actually did not start out so well...(Tell a team-based example - in CAR format - that highlights one of your strengths that led to a great result.)

  • iconQuestion: How does this job fit in with your long term career goals?

    I love the health care industry and I certainly see myself there for the long term, and I’m very enthusiastic about the role your company plays in it. This trade show coordinator position is perfect because it leverages my communication skills and event planning experience. Longer term, I don’t know what the position titles might be, but I see communication being a key component, so I’m definitely thinking of a career path within the Marketing Department.

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