This blog is written by Kate, our Campus Ambassador for University of California, Davis. She is a sophomore double majoring in Economics and Chinese.
Going into an interview may be a daunting part of the application process. The interviewers put you on the spot to answer questions about your experiences and hypothetical situations. Here are some questions that I had to answer for my recent interviews and my approach to answering them.
1. How would your peers and non-peers describe you, your communication skills and interpersonal skills?
For this question, think about your interactions with your friends, classmates and people in general. Then say the positive aspect of it, such as how you encourage them in their academic career and personal challenges. As for non-peers, think about your interactions with your professors and mentors. Then highlight your characteristics, whether it may be that you are an easy person to converse with or your relationship with them.
2. Describe a challenge you have faced and how you have dealt with it.
Think of the last time you worked on a group project and if there were any conflicts within the group. Then describe it honestly to your interviewer and how you and your team have dealt with the conflict. Another challenge may be a project you have difficulties with and how you solved it.
3. Have a person ever attacked you personally because they were not satisfied with your answer? If so, how did you respond? If not, how would you respond in this situation?
This is a tough question because it is specific. So if you have been in this situation, answer this question honestly. If you haven't been in this situation, think of a hypothetical situation and try to solve it with your methods. Your response in this situation shows a lot about your character to your interviewer and how you deal with sticky situations.
4. What if there was something urgent due, for example a print out due in five minutes but you cannot do because the printer broke down, what would you do?
This is another hypothetical situation that requires your imagination. Your interviewer wants to see your reaction not only to the question but also for the situation. Therefore, answer accordingly and remember that there are no correct answer for this question so any answer is better than none.
5. Is there anything you would like to add or supplement your application?
This question is very important! You want to be able to add more to your application, resume, and cover letter. Bring up a past experience and show how it has shaped your character because of the challenge and how it has affected you. Remember to highlight what you have learned from this experience and how it will benefit your ability to perform well for the job.