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Interview questions

Woman interviewing a man in a wheelchair

Interviews will vary from employer to employer, but it is likely that your upcoming interview will include a selection of the following types of questions.

To help you to prepare for the interview, explore the different types of interview questions below, with our tips on how to answer them. 



Using AI (Artificial Intelligence)

ChatGPT could be a useful aid to your interview preparation.  If you put a job description into ChatGPT with a prompt for it to give you a list of interview questions for the role, it will prepare potential interview questions that you can then practice answering or even better, ask a friend to practice interviewing you. 

You could also use ChatGPT to provide feedback on your answers to these mock questions.  However, it is worth also practicing with real people and out loud to get a real sense of how you answer questions and how you feel in an interview setting.

If you do choose to ask ChatGPT to help you with your interview preparation, always remember that it does have limitations.  Some of the information it produces may be inaccurate or outdated, so ensure you verify any facts and apply your own critical view to its suggestions or answers. 

Read our blog on using ChatGPT in job applications

Why did you apply for this role?

This is a motivational question and it is likely to be one of the first questions you will be asked. The interviewers want to assess your motivation for the job role and organisation. Examples include:

  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why have you applied for this role?
  • Why did you choose to study your degree subject?

How to answer

When answering motivational questions, be as authentic and honest as possible and relate your motivations to the job and the organisation you are applying for.

In your answers try to highlight two or three key points, you don’t need to cover everything that you think would be good about the role. Focus on these key points and provide specific evidence from your research that shows how and why these points are important to you.

You may also be able to relate these points back to your own previous experience giving you another opportunity to highlight your suitability for the role.

Check out eCareersGrad and the CAMP technique for healthcare interviews for more support answering motivational questions.

Go to our online interview resources


What skills and experience do you have?

Employers are keen to find out about the skills and experience that you bring to the role. They may just ask the question as simply as:

  • What skills and experience do you bring to the role?

Alternatively, they may ask questions based around the competencies they are looking for in new recruits. You can find the competencies in the job description, the person specification and on the employer’s website. Competency-based questions aim to explore you skills within a specific context.

Common skills assessed using competency-based questions include: communication, problem-solving, teamwork and leadership. Some examples include:

  • Give an example of a time when you dealt with conflict in a team. How did you deal with this?
  • Tell me about a time when you failed to complete a task or project on time, despite intending to do so 
  • Give an example of when you have had to solve a problem

How to answer

When answering competency-based questions you need to think about the real life experiences when you have demonstrated the skill. It could be from past work experience placements, volunteering opportunities or extracurricular activities. Questions can relate to past failures as well as to past achievements so try to focus on what you have learned from past experiences positive or negative.

Use eCareersGrad and the STAR technique on our interview resources page:

Go to our online interview resources


What are your values? How do your values 'fit' with the organisation?

What are values-based questions?

These interview questions assess your values, behaviours and attitudes, rather than your skills and experience. They assess how your past behaviours inform the person that you are, how you deal with future decisions and how your values and beliefs will fit in the wider team and organisation. 

Some examples are:

  • Tell me about a time when you faced an ethical dilemma in the workplace
  • Could you give an example where you actively went out of your way to learn something new in order to achieve a personal goal?
  • Give an example that demonstrates your professional integrity

How to answer

When answering behavioural or values-based questions try not to think too deeply, think about your behaviours and values as competencies and how you are going to get these across to the interviewer.

Instead of the situation think about the context giving solid examples. Use the STAR technique to help with answer these questions.

Go to our online interview resources


What would you do in a specific scenario or situation?

What are scenario-based questions?

Situational interview questions will provide you with a scenario, whether real or hypothetical, that you will have to respond to. They assess your transferable skills such as your time management or problem-solving skills and allow you to share your thinking process and how you respond to change. 


  • How would you deal with receiving criticism from your manager?
  • How would you handle being asked to perform a task you have never done before?
  • How would you work closely with someone you didn’t get along with? What would you do? 

How to answer them

Use eCareersGrad plus the STAR technique or for medical related interviews, SPIES on our resources page.

Go to our online interview resources

Additional consulting examples: 


What are your strengths?

Rather than looking at the past, strength-based questions focus on the future and your potential within the organisation. They assess what you perform well in and what energises you and is therefore hoping you will enjoy your role.

A lot of research shows that if employees are playing to their strengths, they are likely to be more productive and fulfilled. Examples include:

  • What gives you energy?
  • What things are always left on your to-do list and not finished?
  • Do you think this role will play to your strengths?

How to answer them? 

Strength-based questions don’t have a right or wrong answer. Be as authentic and honest as possible and use your research as it is likely that some questions will be close to values-based questions. If you are being asked about your weaknesses, explain how your strengths compensate for them and what you are doing so that it does not impact on your performance. 

Use eCareersGrad and the STAR technique. Find out more:

Go to our online interview resources


Do you have specific or technical knowledge or skills for the job role?

What are knowledge-specific or technical questions?

Depending on the job you are applying for, you may get some questions around your knowledge, your technical or clinical skills. These questions may fall into different categories such as:

  • Behavioural questions: describe your role and responsibilities for the most recent project your worked on
  • Situational interview questions: what actions would you take if you were asked to perform a task you are not familiar with?
  • Educational questions: how do you ensure that you stay updated on your technical knowledge? 

 How to answer them

To help you stand out when answering knowledge-based or technical questions, consider the following:

  • Explain your thinking process: if you are given a problem, analyse it and explain how you can solve it and say why
  • If there is more than one correct answer, analyse the pros and cons of each option and justify the one you are likely to adopt 
  • Ask for clarification if or when you need it

What if I don’t know the answer?

Being honest in your answers is always the way to go. It's better to say that you don’t know than to try to make up an answer.

However, you can still use this opportunity to show positive qualities, such as integrity and problem-solving skills.  You could explain any further or similar information that relates to the question or explain how would you find the information you need. For example:

I’m not sure what the right thing to do would be in that situation, however it would be important for me to speak to my line manager for direction.  I believe I would also be able to find guidance on situations like this in the staff handbook. 
I don’t know the answer to that, but I have experience of working on something similar previously which may be relevant (and explain that experience relating as closely as possible to the original question)

Use the STAR technique or SPIES technique for healthcare interviews. Find out more:

Go to our online interview resources


What do you know about our organisation and industry or sector?

This type of question focuses on your commercial awareness. The interviewers will be assessing your understanding of the organisation and the industry or sector they operate within. Some examples include:

  • What do you know about our organisation? 
  • What sorts of challenges do you think this company comes across?
  • Tell me about a recent business story in the news that has captured your interest?

How to answer them

Use the research you will have done before your interview and explain why you are focusing on specific aspects of your research. Don’t just regurgitate what you have read, explain what it means to you, the role and the organisation.  

Use eCareersGrad to help with these types of questions.

Go to our online interview resources


Can you 'think on your feet'? A curve ball question!

What are curve ball questions? 

Curve ball questions don’t seem to be related to the role at first, their aim is to assess your creativity and how you think under pressure. There are no right or wrong answer, just share your thinking process!

Some examples:

  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
  • Every CV has one lie in it. What’s yours?
  • Would you rather be liked or feared?

How to answer them

Think about how you want to answer the questions, rather than what you answer. Show your creativity and highlight essential skills that the employer is looking for whilst also revealing a bit about your personality.

Top resource: curve ball questions for interviews


Questions for you to ask the interviewers

At the end of your interview the interviewers are likely to ask if you have any questions for them. Therefore, it is worth spending some time preparing a few questions that will:

  • Help you to decide that this is the right role for you
  • Demonstrate your knowledge and interest in the role and organisation

This isn’t the time to ask about a particular week’s holiday or to negotiate salary, these conversations would come when you are offered a role.  

Think about asking questions that will give you additional insights into the role, the team, the culture, their expectations, plans or challenges. Your questions should not be easily answered by a quick look at the company website, as your interviewers will expect you to have looked there first.

For some inspiration on types of questions you might like to ask:

targetjobs - What questions should you ask in a graduate interview? 

Prospects - 7 good questions to ask an interview

Use eCareersGrad's interview success module available on our interview resources page:

Go to our online interview resources


Go to our other interview pages



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