Sample Interview Questions

In addition to the common interview questions listed in our FAQ, interview questions generally fall into four basic categories that you may encounter during your interview. It helps to practice your answers to these questions even if you don’t encounter them during your interview. By practicing with a friend, colleague, or UCSC Career Coach, you can speak with confidence about yourself and your fit for the role and company. 

*This information has been adapted from UCLA's Career Preparation Toolkit (2016-2018)

Resume & Fit

We’ve already covered some of these questions in our FAQ. That said, these questions are essential as they assess your interests, skills, and fit for the position and they also provide context. Some examples are:

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What is one of your most significant accomplishments to date?
  • Why are you the best candidate for this position?
  • What are your greatest strengths? What are your greatest weaknesses?


Your potential employer may also ask you questions that can forecast your future performance in the workplace. Often these examples will ask you to give examples from the past; just remember to use the CAR method in your response. Some examples of behavioral questions are:

  • Give me an example of a time when you worked on collaboratively on a team. What was your role, the project, and its outcome?
  • Give me an example of a time when you faced a challenge in the workplace. How did you solve or confront this challenge?
  • Give me an example of a time you failed. What happened and how did you learn from it?

Case Questions

Case questions ask you to demonstrate skills such as communication, problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking. Whereas Behavioral Questions are used to predict your behavior based on past experiences, Case Questions are hypothetical. In an interview, you may be asked to think through these questions individually or you may be placed in a group of candidates. The situation will vary by field and role. Some examples are:

  • Your client is a hot spring resort. The California drought has reduced the water table by 50% in the past two years and is having a significant impact on the quality and color of your hot spring water. What should you and your team do to satisfy customer demands and complaints and why?
  • A bullet train connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles has been created and will soon be running. Discuss some possible effects of this train on the tourism industry.


Like Case Questions, Technical Questions will be specifically targeted towards your field and will involve specialized knowledge and problem solving skills. These questions will vary from field to field. Some examples are:

  • Compare Quark and Windows.
  • What is bitcoin trading at today and how will the impending holiday festivities influence this?
  • Coding problem you must complete on a whiteboard as part of the interview.

Want to talk with someone confidentially about your job search or Dual Career Path preparation? Make an appointment with one of our Career Coaches today!