15 Interview Questions You Should Be Prepared to Answer

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No matter how many you go on, job interviews can always be nerve wrecking. You put on your nicest clothes, print out your resume, and remind yourself to smile real big–and just when you think everything is going well, the interviewer hits you with a curveball question you aren’t prepared for.

Luckily, you’re not going to let that happen again and you’re planning ahead to ace this month’s interview. The best way to for anything is to do your research ahead of time–which is why we’re here to help.

If you’re preparing for a big interview in the New Year, prepping beforehand with these 15 interview questions will help you get one step closer to that dream job.

1. Tell me about yourself?

Most interviews start with this question and how you answer it will make your first impression. If you stumble over the answer and aren’t quite sure what to say–you’re lack of confidence in yourself is showing. If you start listing all your greatest accomplishments and talk too much, your ego might look a little too big. You need to find a good balance between being confident, but not pretentious.

The best way to prepare for this question is to prepare an elevator pitch about who you are. Skip your personal history and give about 2-3 sentences about your career path and how you ended up in this interview, applying for this job. You don’t need to be too detailed, there are plenty of more questions coming. You just want to leave enough curiosity that the interview becomes excited to learn more about you throughout the interview.

2. Why do you want to work for [insert company name]?

When a hiring manager asks this question, not only do that want to know why you want to work for them, but they also want to know what you know about the company. This question tests how well you know what the company does and how passionate you are about the work they do–so make sure you know the company well and can speak truthfully about your desires to work there.

3. How did you hear about this job?

When asked this during an interview, don’t just say you heard about the job on a website. This is your opportunity to go into more details about why you love this company and what motivates you to want to work there. Moreover, if you have a personal connection at the company, this would be a good time to mention their name!

4. Tell me about something on your resume.

Everyone has something on their resume that they’re really proud of. Whether it’s a skill or achievement you’ve listed, or a specific place you worked at, considering answering this question with the most interesting thing on your resume. Plus, don’t just say something relevant to your most recent position–you’re already going to be asked about that. Instead, think back to one of the older positions listed on your resume and talk about how that job helped your grow into the person you are today.

5. Why are you looking for a job? Or, why are you looking for a different job?

This question might seem innocuous, but this is how interviewers weed out the people who are either a) just looking for any job b) were fired from their last position or c) might have a high turnover rate, meaning you won’t be sticking around for too long. Focus on the positives and be specific. Think about why you are looking for a job: did you just graduate and this will be your first real job? Are you switching career paths? Are you leaving a current job for this one?

If you are currently working somewhere, you should also be prepared to answer, “why do you want to leave your current job for this one?”

6. Why should we hire you?

When asked this question, keep in mind that the recruiter is looking to hear what skills you have that you’re going to bring to the team. Don’t give a vague answer, such as, “I’m friendly and a hard worker.” Instead, be specific, summarize your work history and achievements, and use numbers when possible.

In example, say how many years of experience you have or name some of the accomplishments you made at your last company. The more specific you can be about what your skills are and how valuable of an employee you are, the better the interviewer will be able to picture you working there.

7. Where do you see yourself in five years?

This can seem like a heavy question during an interview, especially when you haven’t prepared for it ahead of time. Keep in mind that you’re in an interview setting–so you don’t need to go into all the details about what your personal life goals are for the next five years. Focus on your career goals and be realistic.

If you plan to work at this company for five years, make sure you understand who would be working above you and what potential career growth there is. The hiring manager asks this questions to find out if you set realistic goals, if you are ambitious, and to confirm that the position you are interviewing for aligns with these goals and growth.

If this position isn’t exactly a job with a lot of future opportunity, you can simply answer this by noting that you are not certain what your future is going to look like, but that you believe this position is going to help you navigate yourself in the right direction.

8. Tell me about a conflict you faced at work and how you dealt with it.

This question is important to ace because it helps an interviewer understand how you deal with conflict. It also helps test how well you think on your feet–so if you prepare ahead of time with a specific example, you’ll avoid the awkward moment of silence while you try to think of an example.

Once you have an example in mind, simply explain what happened, how you resolved the issue in a professional manner, and try to end the story with a happy note about how you reached a resolution or compromise with your co-worker.

9. What is your dream job?

Similar to the “where do you see yourself in five years” question, the interviewer is looking to understand how realistic you are when setting goals, how ambitious you are, and whether or not the job and company will be a good place for you to grow.

Again, try to set aside your personal goals (don’t say your dream job is to be paid to take Instagram photos) and focus on your career goals. Think about how this job is going to set you up for the future and get you closer to your dream job. But, don’t be that person who says, “to be CEO of this company.”

10. What do you expect out of your team/co-workers?

This question is meant to understand how you work on a team and whether you will be the right cultural fit for the company. To prepare for this answer, make sure you research the company ahead of time. You can always tell a little bit about a what a company’s culture is like by looking through their social media profiles or reading their reviews on Glassdoor.

11. What do you expect out of your manager?

Again, the hiring manager is looking to understand what kind of employee you would be and whether you will be a good fit to add to their team. In some interviews, your future manager might be interviewing you. Answer this question as honest as possible and pull examples from your current manager if you can show how they positively help you work better.

12. How do you deal with stress?

Answering this question will help hiring managers identify any potential red flags you might have. You want to show that you can handle stress in a professional and positive manner that helps you continue working or won’t stop you from accomplishing your goals. Moreover, be specific and explain what you actually do to deal with stress–like taking a 15-minute break to take a walk outside, or crossing items off on a to-do list, etc.

13. What would the first 30 days in this position look like for you?

This question helps a company understand what you will get done in your first month, to three months in the position–and how you answer it will signal whether or not you’re the right person for the job. Start by mentioning what information you would need to get started and what would help you transition into the new role. Then focus on your best skills and how you would apply those to this position right away.

14. What are your salary requirements?

Some interviewers ask this question, others don’t. It’s always better to be prepared, especially because you want to make sure you would be paid a fair wage for the value you are going to add. That’s why we built our Know Your Worth tool–to help you determine what you should be paid.

Note: While employers can ask what your salary expectations are, in certain places it is illegal for them to ask what your previous salary was.

15. Do you have any questions?

The last question you will always be asked during an interview is whether or not you have any questions for the interviewer. This is your chance to really stand out–so don’t blow it by saying you don’t, or that your questions have already been answered. Even if you don’t have any questions–there’s always a question you can ask at the end of an interview.

Keep a list of at least three to five questions in the back of your mind so that no matter what, there are at least two questions you have to ask at the end of the interview. Recruiters say that actually enjoy getting to answer some questions at the end of an interview–they did just listen to you talk about themselves, so ask about them for a change. Once this part is over, you can rest easy and walk out of the interview knowing you aced it!

This article originally appeared on Glassdoor.com and was written by Isabel Thottam.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at hello@earnest.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.

© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.

Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.

However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance:
    Fixed rates from 3.899% APR to 7.979% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.470% APR to 6.990% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.470% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.30% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.

All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.


6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of November 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.29%. Variable interest rates range from 2.79%-8.39% (2.79%-8.39% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.75%-8.69% (3.75%-8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled. Applicants with an Associate’s degree or with no degree must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school. Qualifying payments are the most recent on time and consecutive payments of principal and interest on the loans being refinanced. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The cosigner (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a cosigner will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.

2.47% – 6.99%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.46% – 6.97%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

2.57% – 8.44%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

3.05% – 6.47%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.50% – 7.24%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

2.79% – 8.39%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Citizens

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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