Student Professional Development Center

Sample Grad School Interview Questions

Questions often asked by the interviewer:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What factors influenced you to go to graduate school?
  • Why are you interested in our graduate program?
  • What skills and personal characteristics make you a good candidate for this graduate program?
  • What do you hope to gain from our graduate program?
  • How do you see this program fitting into your career goals?
  • What is your greatest strength? What is one of your weaknesses?
  • What are your goals for the next five years? 10 years?
  • How do you feel your undergraduate studies have prepared you for this program?
  • Describe your past work/volunteer experiences and how what you have learned from them will help you in graduate school.
  • Describe your past research experiences and how they will help you in graduate school.
  • What recent professional articles or books have you read?
  • What problems do you expect to face while attending graduate school? How will you handle these?
  • What contributions do you plan to make to the field?
  • What do you believe to be the major trends in your intended career field at this time?
  • What do you think about _________ (current event)?
  • What do you think is the most important development in the field over the past 25 years, and why?
  • We are looking at many other candidates for this graduate program; what sets you apart from the other candidates?
  • What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies or outside interests?
  • Tell me about a major accomplishment and how you achieved it.
  • Give an example of an ethical dilemma you faced and explain how you resolved it.
  • Tell me about a situation in which you took initiative.
  • Tell me about a time you assumed a leadership role.
  • Tell me how you handle stress.
  • Tell me about a time you had a number of assignments due. How did you make sure you completed all of them on time and did a good job?
  • Tell me about a time you were confronted by a fellow student, co-worker, or a customer. How did you handle it to resolve the conflict?