Interviewing for jobs and internships

The purpose of the resume and cover letter that you spend hours working on is to get you an interview, and so it is the interview itself that helps you get the job. Interviews come in all shapes and sizes. There are the screening-type interviews over the phone or video. There are very structured interviews where each candidate is asked exactly the same questions so their answers can be directly compared. And then there are informal interviews that feel more like a conversation, where there don’t seem to be any questions asked at all. Types of interviews include case interviews for consulting roles, technical interviews for tech roles, and behavioral interviews for most industries. The type of interview you might get depends on the type of role you are applying for, and the type of organization you hope to get an offer from. If you are applying for faculty positions as a PhD student or postdoc, visit the PhD/postdoc community pages for more information on academic job interviewing.

In most cases, the preparation for any of these interviews is much the same. You must know as much as possible about the organization and the role you are interviewing for. That means that you’ll want to investigate the people you will be speaking with at the interview beforehand (Google-stalking is encouraged), and you should be excited to answer the questions that are typically asked in every job interview, or if no questions are asked, to share the same information with the employer that you would have done if they had actually asked you these questions.

Indeed, a good strategy for any upcoming interview is to think about what you want the interviewers to know in terms of your skills and experiences, come up with examples that illustrate these, and then look for every opportunity to use these examples in your interview answers. If you have come up with 3-4 examples of your skills in action, and have practiced talking through these examples out loud before the interview, then you can easily adapt the examples to answer a wide range of questions.

Reserving Space for Virtual Interviews

To help facilitate interviews that occur off-campus, Career Services offers space for telephone interviews and equipment for video conferencing interviews.  Find out more here.