Interviewing & Negotiation

When preparing to interview for a position or negotiate an offer, start by researching the organization and position to which you are applying and the hiring manager and team with whom you would work. Develop confidence in interview settings by scheduling a mock interview or interview coaching session with one of our graduate career advisors, or use Big Interview to practice a mock interview tailored to your specific industry, job, and experience level.

Need additional guidance? Schedule an advising appointment to learn about job interview questions and strategies, to practice mock interviews, or to discuss negotiating job offers.

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Interview Types

Academic Interviews

The academic interviewing process typically has multiple steps, with initial interviews with six to ten different candidates by phone or video call. After the initial interviews, two to four candidates are invited to visit campus for several days of meetings with different groups of faculty, students, and administrators. Most campus visits also require a research presentation/job talk and/or a teaching demonstration. This format is also followed in many research-intensive and teaching-intensive industries such as research policy think tanks, museums, and higher education administration roles.

Example Questions

  • Tell us about your research/teaching/institutional fit.
  • Why are you interested in this position at this university?
  • Tell us about your research and how it contributes to our field.
  • Describe your pedagogical approach to teaching.
  • How does your research influence your teaching? How does teaching influence your research?

Behavioral Interviews

Nearly all interviews include questions about your past behavior, which can help interviewers predict how you will behave in the role for which you are applying. Questions might be asked about specific examples of your past behavior or projects. Not all behavioral interview questions are designed well, so be sure to provide answers that demonstrate your skills, abilities, and fit.

Example Questions

  • Tell us about a time you worked in a team. What was the project, your role, and the outcome?
  • Tell us about a time you failed.
  • What do you think has been your greatest accomplishment and why?
  • Provide an example of a complicated problem you solved.

Case Interviews

Case interviewing questions are often used in consulting, finance, and some business interviews to assess analytical, problem solving, communication, and teamwork skills.  They are conducted both in group or 1:1 settings, and often include an analysis performance task that is sent in advance. Case interviews involve a specific scenario for which you are asked to provide a recommendation or solution. Interviewers using the case method are watching to see your process, so it is important to talk through the way you approach the problem. Keep in mind your role in the group, and demonstrate your analytical strengths by creating a framework for the problem.

Example Questions

  • A client of a company is a hotel located in New York City. Their primary customer base is made up of mostly foreign tourists. What are some factors that these customers would seek out in a hotel? What influences may affect their decision to stay at the client’s hotel?
  • How many automobiles are sold in New York each year?

Case Interviewing Resources

Mckinsey Case Interviewing Resources and Sample Cases

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Texas Career Engagement offers graduate students access to CaseCoach, a leading online case interview prep platform used by 30+ universities and 7 Boston Consulting Group offices globally. Students have access to a single online platform covering all their case interview preparation needs, including video lectures and case interviews, practice drills for solving cases, a library of 60+ practice cases and solutions, and the ability to practice remotely with peers over video calls. If you are interested in getting access to CaseCoach, please contact Tina Solvik.

Technical Interviews

Technical interviews are used to assess mastery of technical skills and problem-solving processes. These are often used by competitive tech companies to evaluate coding skills.  Be prepared to use a white board to show your thought process.

Example Questions

  • What is a cross-site scripting attack, and how do you defend against it?
  • Work through the provided coding challenge on a white board.
  • What is ETL and when should it be used?

Technical Interviewing Resources

Tech Interviewing Handbook 

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