Student Job Interview Questions and Answers

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Interviewing as a student or recent graduate can be challenging because you often don’t have as much work experience as other job seekers. You also don’t have as much interviewing experience as other candidates.

However, you still have a lot to offer.


The key to impressing an employer during a job interview is to be prepared and to position your own unique skills to show how you would succeed in the role.

Read below for information on types of student interview questions and advice on how to answer those questions.

Key Takeaways

  • There are certain types of interview questions for students you can prepare for. Behavioral questions ask you to give an example of when you did something work-related in the past.
  • Situational interview questions ask how you would respond in a possible future work situation, such as, "How would you juggle three tasks all due at the same time?"
  • Questions about yourself might include, "Tell me about yourself," or "What are you passionate about?"
  • Questions about the company could include, "What is it about this company in particular that interests you?"

Types of Student Job Interview Questions

There are several types of interview questions a student or recent graduate might be asked in interviews.

Behavioral Interview Questions

Many interview questions will be behavioral interview questions. These questions require you to provide an example of a time when you did something work-related in the past. For example, an interviewer might ask, “Tell me about a time you had to complete a group project under a tight deadline.” Interviewers ask questions about your past to see what kind of employee you might be in the future.

These kinds of questions require you to think of examples from past experiences. To answer these questions, use the STAR interview response technique. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Describe the specific example you are thinking of (it helps to think of examples in advance). Explain the situation and what you did to either solve the problem or achieve success. Then, describe the result.

As a student or recent graduate, you might not have a lot of work experience.


You can draw on your experiences as a student, an intern, or even a volunteer.

If you participated in any extracurricular activities, you can talk about those experiences too.

Sample Questions: 

  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you handle it?
  • Have you ever missed a deadline? Why did it happen?
  • Can you give me an example of how you handled a challenge?

Situational Interview Questions

Situational interview questions ask you to consider a possible future situation at work. An interviewer might ask, “How would you handle working on three tasks that are all due at the same time?” Although these are about future situations, you can still sometimes answer with an example from a past experience.


An example adds credibility to your answer.

When you provide examples, try to use examples that are closely related to the job you’re applying for. Think about past work, volunteer, or school experiences that required skills similar to those needed for this job.

Sample Questions:

  • What would you do if you were working on two projects with tight deadlines and you were running out of time?
  • How would you handle a disagreement with a team member?
  • What’s the biggest issue you’ve had at a past job or internship? How did you handle it?

Questions About You

Interviewers will ask you a lot of questions about you. Some of these will be straightforward questions about your education and work history. Others will be about your character, such as your strengths and weaknesses.

To prepare for these kinds of questions, be sure to review your resume and cover letter thoroughly. Also, look at a list of common interview questions to prepare answers for questions about yourself. Remember to answer honestly, but always put a positive spin on your answers.

Sample Questions:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • What are you looking for in a job?
  • What are you passionate about?

Questions About the Company

The employer might also ask you questions about the company, and why you think you are a good fit for the position. To answer these questions, be sure to research the company ahead of time. 

Get a sense of the company culture—its mission, the work environment, and what the company looks for in employees.

Sample Questions:

  • What interests you about this job? 
  • Describe your ideal boss.
  • Do you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment?

Examples of the Best Answers

High School Job Interview Questions and Answers: Even though high school students don't have much, if any, work experience, it's still important to be prepared to answer questions about your ability to do the job and your education and school activities. Check out some of the best ways high school students can answer these questions.

College Job Interview Questions and Answers: For college students and recent graduates, it's important to relate your education, extracurricular activities, and experience (work and campus) to the job for which you are applying. Here are some sample questions you might be asked during an entry-level job interview and examples of the best way to answer.

Entry-Level Interview Questions and Answers: The interview questions that hiring managers ask entry-level candidates will typically be focused on why you are interested in the job and why the company should hire you. Review these entry-level interview questions and be prepared to respond effectively to the interviewer.

Summer Job Interview Questions: When you interview for a summer job, you'll be asked about your qualifications and your school schedule. Review the questions you will likely be asked during a summer job interview, plus tips on the best way to answer summer job interview questions.

Part-Time Interview Questions: Here are some typical part-time job interview questions and the best answers to interview questions you'll be asked when applying for a part-time job.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you prepare for a student interview?

To get ready for a student job interview, think about why you want the job and prepare a list of your top five skills, areas of knowledge, experiences, or personal qualities. Think of examples of how you've used each asset in past jobs, volunteer roles, or school activities. Then, practice your interview answers with a friend or someone from your school's career services office as part of a mock interview.

How do you answer "Tell me about yourself" in a student interview?

If an interviewer says, "Tell me about yourself," answer by talking about where you are now, your past experience and education, and why you're a good fit for the job.

For instance, you might start by saying where you are in your studies and when you graduate. Then highlight your accomplishments and what you've learned through school and any work or activities you've had. And wrap up the answer by saying how your experience, skills, and personal qualities (for example, enthusiasm or passion for the business) make you a good fit.

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  1. CareerOneStop. "Types of Interviews." 

  2. U.S. Department of Labor. "Interview Skills Participant Guide." Page 17.

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