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Job Search: Interviewing

Resume and job search tips, recommended reading, online resources, and community trainings for job seekers

Getting Ready to Interview in the era of COVID19

Interviewing has changed since the pandemic began. While some core basics have stayed the same (questions and answers, sharing your knowledge of the company you're interviewing with, etc.), there are other things that are different now. How do we talk about employment gaps due to mass layoffs? Will my interview be virtual or in-person with masks on (or off)? 

Below are some sample questions that can help you prepare for a job interview. Every employer will ask a different set of questions based on the job you're being considered for, so practicing what you might say ahead of time will build confidence and help you to have the best possible interview. Don't forget to ask your own questions about expectations, safety, remote work, and other questions that may arise during the interview process.

Virtual Interview Prep Tips

Don't forget to...

  1. Test your technology ahead of time and make sure you download Zoom, Skype, or whatever other platform they may use
  2. Have your resume on-screen or printed out for quick reference
  3. Make sure your interview outfit is clean and wrinkle-free and fits well and make sure to wear pants even if they only see you from the waist up
  4. Eat a light breakfast or lunch beforehand
  5. Make eye contact by looking at the camera on your phone, tablet, webcam, or laptop -- put a little sticker or sticky note as a visual cue
  6. Prepare a few questions that you'd like to ask 
  7. Practice answering questions they might ask you


In-Person Interview Prep Tips

Don't forget to...

  1. Wear a mask if you would like to
  2. Print out a few copies of your resume and bring a sheet with current references
  3. Make sure your interview outfit is clean and wrinkle-free and fits well
  4. Eat a light breakfast or lunch beforehand
  5. Bring and use hand sanitizer 
  6. Make good eye contact
  7. Prepare a few questions that you'd like to ask 
  8. Practice answering questions they might ask you

Sample Interview Questions

  • How familiar are you with reading and interpreting blueprints and/or electrical drawings?
  • Describe some of your most recent projects.
  • Have you ever been injured on the job? What happened? What would you do differently now to prevent the injury from happening again?
  • What procedures do you follow to prevent injuries on the job? 
  • Have you/your company ever caused/been involved in an accident that caused someone to receive hospital treatment or be hospitalized?
  • What is on your personal check-list to ensure you are ready to leave the job site at the end of the day?
  • How have you demonstrated safe work practices in your former job? How strong are your math skills?
  • Have you ever walked off of a job? If so, for what reason?
  • Give me an example of a time when you solved an issue on your own. What happened? What did you do? What was the outcome?
  • How do you prioritize the necessary tasks of a job?
  • Tell us about the biggest roadblocks you have encountered during a project. How did you resolve them?


Adapted from

  • How did you fill downtime at your last job?
  • What do you feel is an acceptable amount of days to be late or absent in a calendar year?
  • How have you responded in the past when you found another employee was stealing?
  • Priorities often change suddenly throughout the day. If you are asked to quickly do another task, how does that affect your mood? What if it's the third time before noon?
  • How would you handle a customer who sent back their food once and tries to send it back again?
  • How have you responded in the past when your replacement calls in sick and a substitute will take over an hour to come in?
  • During the last year, when your replacement hasn’t shown up and your manager asked you to stay late, what percentage of the time have you stayed late
  • A table is loudly angry that service is taking so long on an unusually busy Tuesday night. How would you help diffuse the situation?
  • Give an example of when you did something without being asked. Can you give me another example?


These and other questions can be found here:

  • How would you handle a patient who constantly complains about being in pain?
  • Families very often want to know a timeline for a sick person. How do you handle that?
  • How would you deal with a family member who isn’t happy with your care of the patient?
  • Why does this hospital or medical department interest you?
  • How do you communicate with people who do not know medical terms?
  • Give an example of a time you had to interact with a hostile patient. How did you handle the situation and what was the outcome?
  • How do you prioritize tasks while maintaining excellent patient care?
  • Tell me about a time when you didn't know the answer to something at work. How did you go about finding the information?


Adapted from

  • Why did you decide on a career in hospitality?
  • What do you know about our hotel? 
  • What is your prior experience in the hospitality industry?
  • How did your previous hotel handle guest complaints? 
  • Tell me about a situation when you thrilled a customer with your services and professionalism.
  • What is a concierge and what does a concierge do?
  • Share an experience in which you successfully resolved a difficult complaint from a guest.
  • If you were starting work at a new hotel tomorrow, what would you do to get up to speed on hotel operations?
  • Name the basic services that all hotels should offer their guests.


More interview questions can be found here

  • What are a couple of words that your current coworkers would use to describe you?
  • Tell us about a good book you've read recently.
  • What would your dream library building look like?
  • What's your experience with tech and devices? Describe your experience using technology and assisting people with technology in any setting.
  • What is your customer service philosophy?
  • How do you respond when someone says, “But we’ve always done it this way”?
  • Can you describe a time when something you did at work didn’t go as planned, and what did you learn or what would you have done differently in hindsight?
  • If a customer said a book in the library’s collection is evil and they want you to take it off the shelves right away, what would you do?
  • A patron complains because there are no free computers available. You notice that some kids are on Facebook, while others are typing papers and doing research. What do you do?
  • A patron complains that another person in the library smells bad. What do you do?
  • You’re working at a busy reference desk. You have one person standing in front of you needing help researching an obscure historical figure, the telephone is ringing, three kids are asking for coloring pages, and the printer is jammed. What do you do?


Find interview prep questions here (2013)

  • What does good customer service mean to you?
  • What would you do if you had a customer with a complicated return and then heard the phone ring and noticed the line getting longer?
  • Can you stand, walk, lift, and bend for an entire shift?
  • If you really needed $10 for lunch, would it be okay to take it from your register and then pay it back another day?
  • A customer says they can't find a specific item on the store shelves and asks if there is any more in stock. How would you reply?
  • You are in the middle of restocking shelves when a customer asks you about the price of a dusty jar of artisanal pickled lemons from another aisle. You do not know the answer. What would you do?
  • Can you lift 25lbs? 50lbs?
  • Someone comes up to you and is acting very upset and asks to speak with a manager. Would you try to solve the issue yourself or go get a manager?
  • If someone was rude to you while you were trying to help them, how would you react?