Skip to main content

Interview Question Generator

When determining your interview questions, consider:

Use our interactive tool to generate a list of interview questions. Choose general, competency-based and job-specific interview questions.

Competencies include:

After making your selections using the checkboxes provided, click "Submit." A printable version will be created.

General Questions

 Tell me about yourself.
 Zero in on a couple of the candidate’s previous positions and responsibilities.
 What interests you most about this position?
 In what way are you a good fit for this position?
 What are you known for? What is one of your chief gifts/talents that you have consistently called upon?

Competency-Based Questions

Choose 6-12 questions from the following list of competencies that represent what a candidate must demonstrate to be successful in this position. Use the position description to find relevant competencies.

Job Fit

 Describe work or a project for which you were responsible that demonstrated your commitment to producing a high quality product or results. How were these outcomes directly related to what you did?
 Tell me about a time when you experienced a failure. What was the impact? What did you learn from the experience?
 Give me an example of a time where you demonstrated resourcefulness during a difficult situation. What was the outcome of the situation?
 Describe a situation where you had to include someone at work that you might have felt could more easily be done on your own.
 What have you done in the past to build a strong, diverse and productive team that worked well together. How did you know that what you did was effective?

Organizational Fit

 Tell me about a time where you reacted quickly and decisively to changing conditions in the immediate environment?
 Describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy.
 Please tell me about a situation in which you disagreed with the consensus. How did you express your disagreement and what was the outcome of that conversation?
 What are the three to five expectations that you have of senior leaders in an organization where you will work successfully?
 Collaboration is an important part of Northwestern’s culture. Give me an example of a time you had to champion an organizational initiative or goal, and had to enlist the support of others to achieve that initiative or goal. What was the result?
 How do you challenge stereotypes and promote sensitivity and inclusion at Northwestern?
 Describe a specific instance where you faced an ethical dilemma, were asked to do something unethical, or advised to lie about something. Describe how you handled the situation and why you handled it the way you did.
 Give me of an example of a policy you conformed to even though you did not agree with it.

Leadership

 Give me an example of a time when you employed diplomacy to bring agreement or reconciliation in a stressful or delicate situation.
 What has been your greatest leadership achievement in a professional environment? Talk through the steps you took to reach it.
 Give me an example of a business decision you made that you ultimately regretted. What happened?
 Have you ever met resistance when implementing a new idea or policy to a work group? How did you deal with it?
 What is the toughest group that you have had to get cooperation from?
 Give me an example of a time when you employed diplomacy to bring agreement or reconciliation in a stressful or delicate situation.
 Describe a time where you adjusted your behavior to meet the needs of different people or a situation.
 Tell us about a specific time when you had to handle a tough problem which challenged fairness or ethnical issues.

Communication

 Please provide an example of a difficult decision or message you needed to communicate to your team. Briefly explain the situation and how you communicated the message.
 Describe a situation where you had a conflict with another individual, and how you dealt with it. What was the outcome? How did you feel about it?
 Sometimes it can be difficult and frustrating to obtain information from other people in order to solve a problem or achieve goals. Describe a time when this happen to you.
 Please share an instance in which you had to work with colleague across different levels. How similar or different was your approach to each other?
 An open and inclusive atmosphere is important to foster sharing of ideas and viewpoints. Please share how you have created and supported such an environment with your direct reports, peers and management.
 Collaborating in a diverse environment is sometimes challenging. Describe a time when you have to break down communication barriers and promote an environment where information was shared and expressed openly and honestly to enable teamwork within and across campuses.
 Give an example that demonstrates your professional integrity.

Critical and Analytical Thinking

 Describe a good decision you made as a result of accurately weighing in the costs, benefits and risks involved in all the possible options.
 Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem. What did you do? What was the outcome? What do you wish you had done differently?
 Describe a time when you used your creativity. Why was it creative or innovative? How was your creativity beneficial to others?
 Tell us about a problem that you solved in a unique or unusual way. What was the outcome? Were you satisfied with it?
 Give two examples of things you have done in previous jobs that demonstrated your ability to collaborate with a large diverse team.
 Tell me of an example when a team member does not think like you? How did you convince the individual to go your way?
 Tell us about a time when you changed your style to work more effectively with a person from a different background.
 Discuss a time when your integrity was challenged. How did you handle it?
 Give an example of how you honor commitments and describe a time when you were asked to compromise your ethics. What did you do? What would you do in the future?

Customer Service

 You may have heard the phrase “the customer is always right”. Describe a time when you felt the customer was not right.
 When have you had to deal with an irate customer? How did the situation end up?
 Tell me about a time when you did your best to resolve a customer concern and the individual still was not satisfied. What did you do next?
 What would you do if the client/customer is wrong?
 Describe a time when you were commended for your ability to create a welcoming climate for those you served at work.
 Describe a situation when you have come onto a new team or a new working environment where you were not well received.
 Describe how you, as a Northwestern staff, function and communicate effectively and respectfully within the context of varying beliefs, behaviors, and backgrounds.
 What is your method of communication with colleagues who are different from you? How do you convey thoughts, ideas, or adverse conclusions?
 Tell me about a business situation when you felt honesty was inappropriate. Why? What did you do?
 When have you ever gone out on a limb to defend a customer? What happened?

Team Work

 Tell me about a time when you worked with a colleague who was not doing their share of the work. How did you handle it?
 Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or help others to compromise. What steps did you take?
 Describe a time when you formed an ongoing working relationship with someone from another team/organization to achieve a mutual goal when it was not easy to do.
 Describe a team experience you found disappointing. What would you have done to prevent this?
 Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone who is not collaborative. What was the outcome?
 Tell me about a time when you were able to demonstrate respect with someone who you thought was disrespectful.
 Tell me about a time when you and your colleagues had different opinions and viewpoints on a project. How did you work through the differences and what was the result?
 Trust and respect are important to successful working relationships. Please demonstrate how you have built that trust and respect with your colleagues by providing a specific example. How did you show respect to others?

Job-Specific Questions

Choose 6-12 questions from the following list of competencies that represent what a candidate must demonstrate to be successful in this position. Use the position description to find relevant competencies.