You’ve got the skills. Show you’re a fit.
Anticipate the type of interview and prepare accordingly.
Prepare for the interview, research the organization, and keep networking.
During the Interview
Remain positive and relaxed. Emphasize your accomplishments.
Talk about Yourself
Practice short vignettes that illustrate your strengths and connect back to your experience.
Create a narrative that highlights something about you that is unique and relevant to the position. Weave in personal strengths with experiences and interests. Be memorable! What motivates you?
What would your colleagues and friends consider your best qualities? Employers want to hire employees who know their strengths. Don’t let your humility get in the way of selling yourself.
What would someone who does not like you say about you? Answer honestly, and address how you compensate. Do not highlight a weakness that is an essential aspect of the position.
You took a risk and it paid off? You experienced a difficulty and overcame it? You handled high stress and pressure? You identified a problem and came up with a solution? You assumed leadership for something? Your plans didn’t go as expected? You made a mistake? You disagreed with someone on a team? Answer questions by using the SCAR (or STAR) method: Situation, Challenge (Task), Action (you took), Result.
Do your research and be specific.
Identify experience and skills you have gained that fits the position, solves their problems, or addresses their needs. Connect the dots for them, and use specifics to substantiate your assertions.
You will be given a chance to ask questions of the interviewer. Ask 2-3 of the questions you prepared. It is also acceptable to ask questions throughout the interview as they arise.
More Common Questions
Prepare clear, quantified examples of the ways in which you’ve developed skill and experience.
- From past experiences (internships, jobs), what tasks/responsibilities did you enjoy the most? Least?
- Who is your favorite professor and why? What was your least favorite course and why?
- Do you work best under pressure or with time to plan?
- What are the hardest decisions for you to make?
- What do I not know about you from looking at your resume?
- What achievement are you most proud of?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
- How has your education prepared you for this job?
- Why should I hire someone with a liberal arts background over someone with a research university education?
About the Job
- What challenges do you seek?
- What interests you about this field? About our products/research/programs?
- Why should we hire you?
Questions to Ask
Ask questions to demonstrate your interest in the position.
About the Position and Department
- With whom will I be working most closely?
- What type of training will I receive for this position?
- How do the department’s goals fit into the overall mission of the organization?
- What are some of the current projects that the department is undertaking?
About the Organization
- What changes/new initiatives are happening at your organization?
- How are decisions made? Is there collaboration within and/or across departments?
- What is the overall corporate/organizational structure and culture?
- What opportunities are there for professional growth and development?
About the Hiring Process
- What are the next steps in the hiring process?
- When might I expect to hear from you?
Questions about compensation, time off, and benefits. The interviewer might bring it up in the interview, but if not, it’s better to wait until you receive an offer to discuss the terms of employment.