Interview Questions - Gathering Stories

As we get more actively into preparing for interviews, something you will hear often from instructors and career specialists is “Share an example!” This lesson is a way for you to practice helping your interviewers understand your skills, by sharing the stories of how you gained them.

Learning Goals

  • Understand why sharing stories/examples from your experience is important during interviews
  • Gather anecdotes from your work in the capstone
  • Identify the skills/strengths you have that you want to highlight during interviews


You are in charge of hiring a nanny (or maybe a pet trainer). You are interviewing a candidate who says, “I am a great babysitter. I babysit all the time. My friends all ask me to sit their kids. I like to tailor the experience for each family - if a kid likes science, I have a bag of science experiments we can do; if a kid likes games, I have so many games to play. I have a CPR certification, too.”

This isn’t a BAD response by any means! But what could make it better?

Share in the chat

How could this answer be improved? How could it be more specific, or better illustrate the sitter’s skills?

Sharing your story

A “good answer” to an interview question is as unique as you! When answering interview questions, giving the “right” answer is only about 30% of your job. The other 70% of your job is helping the interviewer understand YOU: your skills, your experiences, your approach, the way you learn, the way you receive feedback, the way you grow!

Ask yourself: besides the technologies you’ve been learning, what are some of your strengths?

In your notebook

List three strengths you bring to a team! How do you know these are your strengths?

Examples: organization and planning; brainstorming; determination; asking questions; problem solving; etc

Now, reflect on your capstone project so far: what experiences demonstrate/illustrate those strengths of yours?


We’re going to get into breakout rooms to practice answering interview questions. Take turns asking each other questions from the sample list below.

When you are answering the question:

When you are not answering the question, listen closely to the person who is speaking so you can share feedback:

  • What strength or skill did they seem to be showcasing?
  • Did you get a clearer understanding of how they work or solve problems?
  • Did they speak in specifics (ex: “I did XYZ”) or just in hypotheticals (ex: “I would do XYZ”)?
  • Did they provide enough context to help you understand their story?
  • Did their example help answer the interview question?

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is your 100% ideal role for your first web development job?
  • What helps you do your best learning? What resources, environment, pace, team, etc?
  • Please describe to me the difference between waterfall and agile approaches to software.
  • Describe a successful idea or project you worked on. What are some of the challenges you had to overcome? What made it a success?
  • Describe an example of how you have handled a stressful situation.
  • Describe your teamwork experience in a coding environment. How big of a team did you work with?
  • How do you approach testing? And what do you think about this? How would you improve QA?
  • How do you handle things when you run into a code problem you can’t figure out?
  • Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to rely on written communication to get your ideas across to your team.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.
  • Describe your strengths. How have you seen these in practice as a developer?

You may also find technical questions for both BE and FE in this question bank.

Wrap Up

Take 5 minutes now to reflect.

In your notebook

Answer the following prompts:

  • What was difficult or surprising about this experience?
  • How and when will you practice to get more comfortable?
  • How will you try to consciouslly gather stories that demonstrate your strengths?

We recommend that you take time at the end of every day by writing down a few bullet points describing what you worked on, what challenges you faced, and what you learned. This will help you jog your memory, and start to notice events that help you tell your narrative.

Lesson Search Results

Showing top 10 results