Departmental Interviewing Guide: Questions to Ask Support Staff


In viewing your candidacy for this position, in what areas do you feel you would be a particularly strong performer? Why?

Describe your three greatest strengths and tell me how you used them to bring about improvements in your current or most recent position.


In what areas could you improve your overall performance? (Make sure you demonstrate what action you would take.)

As you view your overall qualifications for this position, what do you see as some of your development needs?

In what ways could you improve your interpersonal skills and effectiveness?


How appropriate do you feel your education has been in preparing you for your profession?

What specific courses have been most helpful to you in your career/current position? How have you used them?

What led to your decision to get a degree in __________________?

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

With what kind of people do you most enjoy working (have difficulty working with)? Why?

Tell me about a time when you had a major conflict with another employee or customer? (Mention the cause of the conflict, what things you did to alleviate the problem, and the results.)

Are you more skilled at verbal or written communication? Why?

Tell me about a time when you had to communicate negative information to your supervisor or a customer.

Explain your experience in making verbal presentations to groups or individuals.

Planning and Organizational Skills

Describe your planning process. How do you establish priorities?

Describe a situation in your professional experiences that required a number of deadlines to be met at the same time.

How did you handle that? What was the result?

Traits and Characteristics

How do you take criticism?

How do you handle stress on the job?

Analytical Ability

Please give some examples of decisions you have made in your professional experiences. What were the ramifications of these decisions?

Please describe a problem you recently encountered. How did you rectify the situation? What did you learn?


What has been your experience in working as part of a team?

Give an example of your involvement in a successful team effort. What role did you play? Why was the effort successful?

Give an example of your involvement in a team effort that failed. What role did you play? What factors led to the failure?

Have you ever had to build motivation or team spirit with co-workers or peers? How did you accomplish this?

Do you prefer working alone or with others?

Service Excellence or Customer Service

What is your philosophy of customer service? How do you make a customer feel important?

Describe the behavior of a difficult customer and what you did. (Emphasize your ability to notice their dissatisfaction and how you acted on their specific behavior).

How have you dealt with a customer who has a legitimate gripe but one you can't fix?

Was there ever a time you violated organizational policy in order to better serve a customer? What happened and how did you handle it?

Tell me about a time that you went the extra mile for a customer. What were the circumstances and how did you handle it?


By what standards do you measure your success?

What immediate and long-term career goals have you set for yourself?

Persuasiveness and Job-Related Questions

Is there anything else I should know about your qualifications that would help me to make a hiring decision? What do you feel separates you from other applicants for our opening?

What can we expect from you if you work for us? What unique talents will you bring to us? What can you offer our organization?

Do you have any questions about the job and/or the demands of you?

Do you have any questions about our organization?