Interview Tips

Negative factors evaluated during the employment/graduate school interview which frequently lead to rejection of applicant:
  1. Poor personal appearance.
  2. Overbearing, overaggressive, conceited, superiority complex, know-it-all.
  3. Inability to express yourself clearly-poor voice, diction, grammar.
  4. Lack of planning for career-no purpose or goals.
  5. Lack of interest and enthusiasm.
  6. Lack of confidence and poise.
  7. Overemphasis on money.
  8. Unwilling to start at the bottom.
  9. Makes excuses-hedges on unfavorable factors in record.
  10. Lack of tact, maturity, and courtesy.
  11. Condemnation of past employers, lack of social understanding.
  12. Indecision, merely shopping around.
  13. Little sense of humor, cynical.
  14. No interest in company or industry or school.
  15. Lack of knowledge of field of specialization.
Questions frequently asked during the employment/graduate school interview:
  1. In what school activities have you participated? Why? Which did you enjoy the most?
  2. How do you spend your spare time?
  3. What are your long-range career goals?
  4. What made you pursue graduate school?
  5. How are you interested in this program?
  6. What is your past work experiences?
  7. What percentage of your college expenses did you earn?
  8. What qualifications do you have that make you feel you will be successful?
  9. What were your extracurricular activities?
  10. How do you feel about giving up a paying job for several years?
  11. What have you learned from some of the jobs you have held?
  12. Can you get recommendations from previous employers?
  13. What have you done which shows initiative and willingness to work?
  14. What have you done that has enhanced your leadership qualities?
  15. Are you having any other interviews?
  16. Why should we accept you into our program?
  17. How would you describe yourself?
  18. Why did you apply to this particular program? How did you hear about us?
  19. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  20. How do you work under pressure? How do you handle stress?
  21. What major academic problem have you faced and how did you handle it?
  22. Have you been involved in any research? If so, was your experience positive?
  23. Tell us something interesting about yourself.
  24. If you don't mind telling us, what other schools have you applied to?
  25. Give us some examples of your creativity, initiative, maturity, and breadth of interest.
Questions that you might ask potential employer/graduate school:
  1. How is the training in this program organized? What is a typical program of study?
  2. What training model is emphasized?
  3. What kind of opportunities would I have?
  4. What’s the typical success rate for finding jobs for individuals in this program?
  5. Would I be likely to get financial aid in the first year?
  6. What are my possibilities of advancement? If any, how fast?
  7. Is it possible to talk to current employees/graduate students?
  8. How long does this program usually take to complete?
  9. What kinds of teaching and research assistantships are available?
  10. Are faculty supportive with regard to original ideas for research?

Similar information can be obtained from XPD – Experience & Professional Development.

Preparing for Internships, Jobs or Grad School

Resources from XPD – Experience & Professional Development:

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Dr. Robert Kachelski
Chair, Psychology Department
CSB Main 368