You're about to graduate and you submitted such an impressive cover letter and CV/resume, that your potential future employer has contacted you about an interview. Job interviews are most often thought of as in-person, but quite often, employers will first have you do a phone or Skype interview. No matter what environment your interview is in, this is the time to demonstrate all of the skills you outlined on that resume/CV that got you the interview in the first place, especially your interpersonal or "soft" skills. The best advice for going into an interview? Prepare, prepare, prepare! These resources will help you do that.
- Go to drop-in and individual career counseling to work with someone on your interview skills or what to expect one-on-one
- Penn State Career Services Mock Interview program
- Attend Math and Science Mock Interview Sessions on Thursdays: 11am-1pm; 2pm-4:30pm in 112 Ritenour. To schedule an appointment, call 814-865-5000.
- Attend seminars and events under the Career Exposure Seminars and Events page
- Interviewing Skills - online workshop from Penn State Career Services
- Interviewing - recorded workshop from Penn State Career Services
- "Interviewing" from Penn State Career Services
- Penn State Career Services Career Guide
- "The Interview: What you need to do before, during, and after to get the job" - recorded webinar by Alaina G. Levine, American Institute for Physics (2015)
- "The 7-Step Interview Playbook" by Robin Madell, U.S. News & World Report (2014)
- "Most Frequent Post Job Interview Mistake" by Angela Rose, Biospace (2015)
- "The One Empty Word to Avoid in a Job Interview" by Bob McIntosh, Biospace (2015)
- "The Top 6 Most Difficult R&D Interview Questions Every PhD Should Know" by Dr. Isaiah Hankel, Cheeky Scientist (2015)
- "First Time on the Market?" from Chronicle for Higher Education (2015)
- "The Next Level: Life after a Post Doc. What Now?! Industry? How?" by Dr. Julie E. Tetzlaff
- "Why is Hiring Taking Longer?" by Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor (2015)
- "The First Interview" by Steven M. Cahn, The Chronicle for Higher Education (2008)
- "Preparing for the Non-Academic Interview" by Christine Kelly, Inside Higher Ed (2009)
- "What to Expect in a First-Round Interview" by Julie Miller Vick and Jennifer S. Furlong, The Chronicle for Higher Education (2011)
- "5 Hiring Tricks Revealed" by Angela Rose, Biospace (2015)
- Interested in academia? See job interviews in real-time by attending job talks in your department
- Ask to serve on your department's recruitment committee to see what the interview process is like first-hand
- Practice, practice, practice!
Preparation is key!
- Research the employer, the main players, and who you will be interviewing with (yes, it's okay to ask!).
- If interviewing for an industry position, know the products the company makes.
- Know about any recent news affecting the employer.
- Be able to express your skill sets in terms of how they will specifically fit the employer's needs
- Be prepared for both theoretical (problem solving ability and thinking styles) and behavior-based (predicting your future behavior based on past experiences) interview questions
- Be prepared to not only talk to hiring managers/future bosses but also people from human resources and your potential future peers
- Talk with fellow graduate students who may have recently gone through or are currently going through the job interview process