Types of Interviews
As the semester picks up, many students are starting to think about their plans for the summer. Whether you are planning to intern at a company, take classes abroad, or pursue a research opportunity, you will most likely have to interview for the position.
Though the interview process is daunting and dreadful to many, here are a few tips to feeling more prepared during your next interview.
The best way to walk away from an interview feeling confident is to prepare for the interview. Spend time thinking about the skills required for the role you are applying for, and how your experience and skills will contribute to that. Make sure you know your resume well and know how the story that your resume tells can be applied to what the employer is seeking.
Here are a few different styles of interviews:
Are you interested in a position or field but don’t know that much about it? Want to learn about the career paths of alumni?
Informational interviews are designed for you to learn more about a firm or industry. The conversation isn’t about the hiring process or about a specific internship but is purely informational. You can find an Alumni in a field you are interested in via the Alumni and Parent Career Search or by connecting with Ursula Diamond, Director for Student Opportunities at CMC, on LinkedIn and searching through her connections. As only around 14% of students receive offers from firms by simply applying online, networking is a crucial aspect of finding a summer opportunity of your choice.
In these interviews, you can inquire about their career path and any advice they might have for students hoping to break into this industry.
Screening interviews are designed to assess your skills and personality and see if you are the right fit for the position.
In these interviews, your goal should be to convince the interviewer (in only around 15 minutes!) you have what the company wants. You should be prepared to answer questions such as: “Tell me about yourself.” “Why are you interested in our firm?” “What experiences make you the right fit for the role?”
To answer “Tell me about yourself,” Diamond recommends following a three-step approach. 1) Who am I 2) What skills/experiences do I have 3) What I am looking for now.
The goal of behavioral interviews is to predict how you will fit into the firm based on your past behavior/experiences. These are the most common interviews and require the interviewee to listen carefully to each question and craft a thoughtful response.
In these interviews, you should be ready to answer questions like “Tell me about a time you had to solve a problem?” “Tell me about yourself” “Tell me about a time you faced a challenge” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
To be ready for these questions, it is best to think of examples in advance you can reference that required action and had a positive outcome.
Case interviews will require you to demonstrate a skill that is required for the roll by solving a real-life problem. Often, these interviews are used in the finance and consulting industries. You will be given a problem with a (purposely!) limited data set – they want you to ask questions and evaluate your thought process. It is crucial to practice, manage your time, summarize your findings, and make a recommendation.
To prepare for these interviews, you can either practice with seniors who have accepted offers to firms that have required case interviews or go to casequestions.com to practice on your own.
Technical interviews are used to assess your hard skills. The interviewer not only wants to see if you can carry out everything you say you can but also wants to gauge your communication skills in a situation where you may not know the answer. Remember! There is not always a right or wrong answer.
You can prepare for these interviews on leetcode.com.
Group interviews designed to evaluate your ability to work within a group and withstand pressure. The most successful candidates are usually the ones that can share the spotlight with others.
Superday is typically for finance positions and lasts a half or full day. These are final round interviews that you will usually be flown to the firm’s HQ to partake in. You may have four or five people interview you in a row. You must remember to treat each interview as your first, even if you feel like you are being repetitive.
Above all, taking advantage of career services at CMC will help you feel relaxed and ready for whichever type of interview you may encounter.
Interview Stream is a helpful tool that provides you with questions for interviews in many different industries and allows you to record yourself to practice with and receive feedback.