General Questions

General Questions for Search Committees

  • Please describe a time during your previous employment when you suggested a better way to
    perform a process.
  • Describe a difficult time you have had dealing with an employee, customer or co-worker.
    Why was it difficult? How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
  • Describe a system you use for keeping track of multiple projects. How do you track your
    progress so that you can meet deadlines? How do you stay focused?
  • Describe a situation when someone disagreed with your point of view or decision. How did
    you work through that?
  • Describe a situation you wish you had handled differently based on the outcome. What was
    the situation? What would you change when faced with a similar situation?
  • Describe a time when it was especially important to make a good impression on a client.
    How did you go about doing so?
  • Describe a time when you had to interact with a difficult client. What was the situation, and
    how did you handle it?
  • Describe a time when you saw some problem and took the initiative to correct it rather than
    waiting for someone else to do it.
  • Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How
    did you eventually overcome that?
  • Describe a time when you were stressed at work. What did you do to de-stress?
  • Describe a time when your team or company was undergoing some change. How did that
    impact you, and how did you adapt?
  • Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectation. What happened,
    and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to explain something fairly complex to a
    frustrated client or co-worker. How did you handle this delicate situation?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to think on your feet in order to delicately
    extricate yourself from a difficult or awkward situation.
  • Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see
    things your way at work.
  • Give me an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was
    exciting or difficult about it?
  • Give us an example of when you were involved in a crisis situation. What was your role?  How
    did you cope?
  • Have you ever/if you observed a co-worker who made inappropriate sexual or racial
    remarks to another employee, and it was obvious to you that the situation was creating an
    uncomfortable environment, what did/would you do?
  • In what areas would you like to develop further? What are your plans to do that?
  • In what way(s) do you express your personality in the workplace?
  • It’s 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. Your supervisor gives you an assignment that needs to be
    finished by 8 Monday morning. You have already made plans to be away the entire
    weekend. What would you do?
  • Now that you have learned more about the college and the position you are applying for,
    what hesitation, if any, would you have in accepting this job if we offer it to you?
  • Please describe a personal or career goal that you have accomplished and why that was
    important to you.
  • Sometimes it’s just not possible to get everything on your to-do list done. Tell me about a
    time your responsibilities got a little overwhelming. What did you do?
  • Suppose your supervisor asked you to get information for him or her that you know is
    confidential and he/she should not have access to. What would you do?
  • Talk about a time when someone resisted or rejected your ideas or actions.
  • Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very
    different from yours.
  • Talk about a time when you knew you were right and your supervisor disagreed with you.
  • Tell me about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it was a hit.
  • Tell me about a time when you were part of a great team. What was your part in making the
    team effective?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked under close supervision or extremely loose
    supervision. How did you handle that?
  • Tell me about a time you needed to get information from someone who wasn’t very
    responsive. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you
    would meet your objective?
  • Tell me about a time you were dissatisfied in your work. What could have been done to
    make it better?
  • Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you
    get through it?
  • Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.
  • Tell us about a time when someone asked you for assistance in a matter that was outside the
    parameters of your job description. What was the outcome?
  • Tell us about a time when someone told you that you had made an error. Describe how you
  • Tell us about a time when you were angry about an unfair decision. How did you react?
  • To you, which is more desirable? An organization that is run in an efficient, business-like
    manner OR an organization that is run in a personal and friendly way?
  • Under what kinds of conditions do you learn best?
  • We all make mistakes we wish we could take back. Tell me about a time you wish you’d
    handled a situation differently with a colleague.
  • What are some positive aspects of your last employment/employer? What are some negative
  • What are your career path interests?
  • What are your short-term goals and long-term goals?
  • What do you know about SUNY Delhi?
  • What do you think are the best and worst parts of working in a team environment? How do
    you handle it?
  • What kind of people do you find it most difficult to work with? How do you handle it when
    you find it difficult to work with someone?
  • What methods do you use to make decisions? When do you find it most difficult to make a
  • What questions would you like to ask us?
  • What strengths did you rely on in your last position to make you successful in your work?
  • What was the most creative thing you did in your last job? What does “success” mean to
  • What was your biggest challenge in your last/current job?
  • What would you have liked to do more of in your last position? What held you back?
  • What’s the best book you’ve read in the last year? What did you like about it?