Career Newsletter, 2/16/2017

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Interviewing Your Interviewer

The sense of nervous anticipation that precedes an interview is almost inevitable. You’re worried about making a good impression and that’s okay. That said, it’s important to see interviews not simply as candidate evaluations, but back-and-forth assessments between interviewer and interviewee. While the organization is using the meeting to judge your unique set of skills, experience, and personality, it’s also a chance to see how well they fit you.

Most interviews will end with the employer asking if you have any question of them. Taking full advantage of this opportunity will help ensure you don’t jump into a job you end up dreading. You can ask for general information about company culture and the day-to-day, along with more detailed stuff like team structure and vacation, and anything in between. Below are tips on succeeding in this role reversal.

Prepare questions before you go.

Coming up with questions in advance will not only demonstrate your preparedness come interview time, it’ll give you time to develop ones that actually provide pertinent info. Think about what aspects of the job might impact your decision to accept or decline an offer and jot down questions accordingly. What’s the minimum amount of paid time off you’d take? Do you want a hands-off managerial philosophy, or something more structured? Don’t pose these as demands, but ask the interviewer questions that’ll hint at whether or not the company can meet your needs.

If you’re struggling to come up with questions, check out our Interview Workshop from last quarter. These two articles are also insightful.

Ask the appropriate person.

Once you get beyond the initial screening, you’ll likely be interviewed by multiple people in subsequent rounds. Most of these will start with each interviewer briefly mentioning their name and title. Pay special attention to these introductions. If one of the panelists is a director, you’ll know to aim questions about organizational philosophy and major initiatives toward them. Questions about day-to-day life or the best parts of the job should be directed at the person whose position most closely matches the one for which you’re applying. And so on.

Strategically targeting your questions will not only provide you with more insightful answers, it will show the interviewers that you’re observant and have a general understanding of organizational structure.

Cover a variety of topics.

This is your only opportunity to find out information that isn’t listed on the company’s website or Glassdoor profile. Find out as much as possible — about organizational values, opportunities for advancement, specific duties, team members, salary and benefits, etc. — so you can confidently accept an offer that’ll leave you satisfied.

Upcoming events


(Please RSVP via iCareers for any iSchool event you plan to attend, unless otherwise noted.)

2/21: Career Conversations: Introverted Job Searching; 12:30-1:20pm, MGH 015H

Career & Internship Center

2/17: LinkedIn Lab for International Students; 1:30-2:20pm, MGH 134

2/21: Getting Started: Networking; 3:30-4:00pm, MGH 134

2/22: Environmental Career Fair; 11:00am-2:00pm, MGH Commons

2/22: Zillow presents: Navigating the Job Search and Career Development; 12:30-1:20pm, MGH 134

2/23: Exploring: Environmental & Sustainability Careers; 1:30-2:00pm, MGH 134

For additional events, visit the iSchool and Career Center websites.

Top job/internship opportunities:

  • UX Design Intern, AT&T; iCareers ID 5811
  • Software Engineer Intern, Zetec; HuskyJobs ID 97750
  • Research, Archives & Data Strategy Internships, NPR; iCareers IDs 5839, 5894
  • Business Analyst, Discover; iCareers ID 5823
  • Collection Services Manager, Timberland Regional Library; iCareers ID 5805
  • Taxonomy Analyst,; iCareers ID 5825

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