Interview questions

Building up your portfolio

How would you respond if you were asked the following questions at a job interview?

  • What influenced you to study the course you did?
  • What are the skills and attributes that make a good chemist/environmental scientist/food technologist/administrator in public health/technical analyst?
  • What area of chemistry/public health/environmental issues are you most interested in?
  • What do you know about our organisation?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What laboratory techniques are you familiar with?
  • This job requires a passion for “hands on” laboratory work.  What makes you a good technician in the laboratory?
  • Can you give an example of when you identified an OHS issue and resolved it?
  • What are important OHS factors to be considered when working in a laboratory?
  • Tell me about some of the written work you do in your course.  What is the best assignment you wrote and why?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked well in a team.  What was your role?  What did the team achieve?
  • Tell me about a time you had to convince someone of your point of view.  What was the situation?  How did you persuade them?
  • Tell me about a time you delivered excellent customer service
  • Can you give me an example of when you used your initiative to solve a problem?
  • Tell me about a time you used good judgment to solve a problem.
  • What motivates you?
  • Describe a situation where you had to deal with a difficult person.  What was the situation and how did you handle it?
  • How do your organize your time and plan activities?
  • What are 3 issues confronting the state/federal government over the next 5 years?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What does team work mean to you?
  • What has been a significant achievement for you?
  • What would be an example of you giving an assignment or piece of work your best effort and being disappointed by the outcome?  What would you do differently?
  • What are your career goals?
  • How do you feel about doing more study?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Is your academic performance an indicator of how you will perform in this job?
  • Tell me about your time at university.  What did you enjoy the most?
  • Give me an example of when you set a goal and achieved it?
  • What subjects have you done best in at university?  Why?
  • What part time jobs have you had?  What did you learn from them?
  • This job requires the ability to work autonomously.  Do you think you can do that?
  • Tell me about previous experience handling chemicals/completing impact studies/use of modelling equipment/applying IT skills.
  • Tell me about fieldwork you have done.
  • Why do you want to do research?
  • Tell me about presentations you have done.  Describe one of the best.
  • What do you think is important when keeping records of testing?

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