36 Interview Questions for Students To Help Them Prepare

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 2, 2023

Published July 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Although a student's primary responsibility is performing well in school, many also look for jobs as they complete their education. Having a job can provide students with a method of earning an income, which can help them support themselves. If you're currently in high school or college and want to find a job, it's helpful to learn what you might encounter during a job interview. In this article, we explore 36 interview questions for students, provide six sample answers you can reference, and review common reasons why students apply for jobs.

General interview questions for students

Here are some general interview questions for students:

  • What prompted you to apply for this position?

  • Is this your first job?

  • What year are you in school?

  • What high school or university do you attend?

  • What are some of your interests?

  • Please discuss a few of your greatest strengths and weaknesses.

  • Why should we hire you?

  • Are you familiar with this company?

  • What are your career goals?

  • Are there any questions that you have for us?

Related: Interview Question: "Why Should We Hire You?"

Questions about experience and background

Here are a few questions about experience and background that an employer might ask a student in an interview:

  • Have you worked in this industry before?

  • Do you hold a job on campus during the school year?

  • How many jobs have you had in the past?

  • Please discuss some of your most relevant skills.

  • What are your educational goals?

  • Do you participate in any extracurricular activities or clubs?

  • Please describe your leadership experience. How have you led a team in the past?

  • What are your long-term career goals?

  • Please describe a time at school or in a previous job where you solved a problem. What strategies did you use to solve it?

  • Are you interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree?

In-depth questions

Here are some more in-depth questions that a hiring manager might ask a student in an interview:

  • Why are you interested in this specific role?

  • Tell me about your current academic schedule. Do you have any conflicts in availability?

  • Which duties would you be most excited to perform in this job?

  • How can this job help you reach your career goals?

  • Tell me about your long-term plans for working in this industry. Do you plan to work in this industry in the future?

  • Do you intend to continue working during the school year?

  • Describe a time when you collaborated effectively. What did you do and how did your coworkers respond?

  • Please discuss one of your biggest successes at work. What did you do to achieve it?

  • Tell me about your conflict resolution skills. How would you respond to a workplace conflict?

  • Have you completed any professional development training in the past?

Related: How To Answer "Why Are You Interested in This Role?" Step by Step

Sample answers to interview questions for students

Here are six sample responses to questions a hiring manager might ask a student in an interview:

Why did you choose your school?

An employer may use this question to assess whether you have a long-term plan for your academic and professional development. Your answer can show the interviewer that you've thought about your academic path. It can also display that you have the discipline to make effective decisions about your education that can help you achieve your career goals.

Example answer: "I chose my university because it's a reputable school and has a well-established science department with expert professors. I wanted the chance to study with current professionals and conduct my own research. My school also offers a specialization in biomechanical engineering, which is my target career."

What is your major? What degree are you pursuing?

Interviewers often ask students this question to learn about their academic goals and intended career paths. In your answer, you can describe the major you're currently pursuing and discuss any degrees you want to earn after graduation. You can also highlight how your academic pursuits can relate to the job for which you're applying.

Example answer: "I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in marketing. My major is marketing and public relations. I'm currently involved in a class project that's teaching me essential skills like planning a campaign, using data and analytics to develop strategies, and applying digital marketing techniques."

Related: 7 Steps for Creating a Resume as a Student

Why did you choose your major?

Interviewers may ask this question to determine your plans for professional development. Consider describing the aspects of your major that intrigue you. Then try connecting those aspects with the position for which you're interviewing.

Example answer: "I chose my major because the analytical process of marketing intrigues me. To me, developing a marketing campaign feels like solving a puzzle, which is engaging. I also love the idea of applying what I learn within a business setting so I can help streamline a company's overall marketing processes to help it achieve a higher return on investment."

What types of projects have you completed during your education?

Completing projects and assignments on time can show potential employers that you're responsible and organized. These are two traits that interviewers often search for, so it's helpful to highlight them in your response. Consider discussing one or two specific projects that required you to overcome challenges or enhance one of your skills.

Example answer: "I recently completed a mock marketing assignment for my analytics class in which I had to plan an entire strategy implementation. The biggest challenge I encountered was learning how to operate new software, which I used to input and track key performance indicators. To help me work with the software effectively, I used the tutorials and participated in a software study group after class to develop my skills. Learning how to use the software ultimately helped me complete my project, on which I received a grade of 100%."

Related: Understanding What an Internship Is and How To Get One

How do you manage your priorities to meet deadlines?

In this question, an interviewer may seek to learn about your ability to apply effective time management and organizational skills. In your answer, consider talking about time management strategies you've used in the past. You can highlight how you organized your assignments and completed them by specific deadlines.

Example answer: "I usually start by making a grid to list each task I have to complete. I organize the tasks in order of relevance and priority. Then I complete the most time-consuming tasks first so I can take my time focusing on getting each element right. If it's a large assignment, such as a research project, this method helps me get the bulk of the project done so I can focus on the smaller details last."

What has been your biggest academic achievement?

An employer might ask this question so they can evaluate your ability to set goals and learn how you motivate yourself to achieve them. When answering this question, you can talk about specific educational objectives you set. Then you can describe the actions you took that helped you to achieve your final results.

Example answer: "My biggest academic achievement was my recent practicum. I completed my third-year practicum teaching high school students, and my supervisor gave me a positive performance evaluation. This was important to me because it confirmed that my training was effective. During my training, I developed the ability to deliver engaging lessons and create unique approaches to working with gifted students and students with learning disabilities."

Why apply for a job as a student?

There are many reasons a student might apply for a job. Students often apply for jobs to gain experience in a particular field or earn supplemental income. For example, a high school student might get a job at an animal shelter if they plan to become a veterinarian. In comparison, a college student who rents an apartment might seek a job to earn money to pay rent. Additionally, high school and college students often work temporary jobs during the summer, then devote their time to classes and extracurricular activities at other times of the year.

Here are a few additional reasons students may apply for jobs:

  • To learn about working in a particular industry

  • To build a network and make connections in a specific field

  • To save money for a specific financial goal, such as paying for college

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