Career Newsletter, 2/19/20


Whether you’re looking for a full-time job, internship, or directed fieldwork, interviews are a key step in the application process. In the stress of preparing for interviews, it can be easy to forget that an interview goes two ways. While the organization uses interviews to judge your unique set of skills, experience, and personality, it’s also a chance for you to assess whether an organization is the right fit for your career goals, desired work environment, and values.

Most interviews will end with the employer asking if you have any questions of them. This is your chance to ask well-researched and thoughtful questions that might influence your decision and help ensure you don’t jump into a job you end up dreading. Here are some tips on preparing questions to ask the interviewer:

Draft 6-8 Questions Before You Go

Coming up with questions in advance will not only demonstrate your preparedness, it will also give you time to develop questions that give you the information you need. Think about what aspects of the job might impact your decision to accept or decline an offer and craft questions accordingly.

  • Do you prefer a hands-off managerial philosophy, or something more structured?
  • What are you looking for in the work environment?
  • What expectations do you have for professional development and continued learning on the job?
  • What are your career goals and how would the projects in the role align with those?
  • How is the team living out your core values of diversity, inclusion, or innovation?

Pay Attention to Instructions (and Adjust Questions Accordingly)

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, writing them down if necessary.

  • If one of the interviewers is in a leadership role, aim questions about organizational philosophy and major initiatives toward them.
  • Questions about day-to-day life or favorite aspects of the job should be directed at the person whose position most closely matches the one you’re interviewing for.
  • Recruiters often conduct first-round phone interviews and can answer broader questions about the company, hiring process, and team or role.

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 Topics that Matter to You

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, how team members work together, etc. — so you can make a well-informed decision if you get an offer.

Avoid Inappropriate Questions

There are some questions that are not appropriate to ask at the end of an interview. Since you have not yet received an offer, avoid questions that may imply you are not fully committed to the position, only care about money, don’t understand the position, or are impatient. Some questions to avoid include:

  • Can I take a vacation?
  • Can I work from home or come in late/leave early?
  • What is the salary?
  • What does this company do?
  • How quickly can I get promoted?
  • Did I get the job?

Come Prepared, but Leave Room for Flexibility

Write down your questions and bring them with you. This is the one place in an interview where it is ok to use your notes, as it shows you’ve done your research and prepared. You may not have a chance to ask every question, or during the interview, you may think of additional questions.

If you’re struggling to come up with questions, check out this article and this article.

Snoopy Pic of the Week:

Snoopy is working hard on researching for interviews!

Upcoming Events

iSchool: More info and registration via iCareers

UW Career Workshops and Employer Events

Other Events

  • Feb 20: A Day In the Life of a UX Researcher; 4:00pm – 5:30pm, CSE1 305

    Speaker: Kerstin Huang, UX Researcher at HighSpot

    Space is limited so please RSVP as soon as possible! For more information, contact Nicole Garakanidze at
  • Feb 24: A Workshop for International Graduate Students; 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Hub 332

    International graduate students (master’s and doctoral) are invited to join Core Programs for a hands-on workshop to start your career exploration. This tailored workshop will present an overview of career exploration strategies on the topics of networking, informational interviews, LinkedIn profile, and job search as an international graduate student.

    Free food and beverages will be provided. Send questions to Ziyan Bai at
  • Feb 28: Seattle Central College Library’s Open House for MLIS Students; 10:00-11:30am, 1701 Broadway, Broadway-Edison Building, Library room 2101-A​

    The open house will include: ​Q&A panel of community college librarians; structured and unstructured networking time, tips for applying to community college libraries​; learning about Seattle Central Library’s opportunities for MLIS candidates– Reference Assistants, Teaching Assistants, and Directed Fieldwork projects​; and self-guided tours of the library space​.

    This event is free and open to current MLIS candidates at University of Washington.​ RSVP encouraged:
  • Feb 28: A Day In the Life of a Product Manager; 4:00-5:30pm,CSE1 403

    Speaker: Trevor Bloking, Senior Director of Product Management at SugarCRM

    Workshop: Negotiations and Trade-offs

    Space is limited so please RSVP as soon as possible! For more information, contact Nicole Garakanidze at

Positions for Consideration

  • IT Service Desk Technician Intern, Kaiser Permanente; Handshake
  • Customer Success Intern, CrowdStrike, Inc; Handshake
  • Product Analyst (Public Cloud), Palo Alto Networks; Handshake
  • 2020 Summer Internship & AMIA Diversity and Inclusion Fellow, George Blood, LP; iCareers ID 10332
  • User Experience Librarian (Assistant Librarian), University of Texas at Austin; iCareers ID 10316
  • Digital Infrastructure and Preservation Librarian, Washington State University Libraries; iCareers ID 10330

Questions or feedback? Contact us at | iCareers

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