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An interview is a conversation between a job candidate and a representative of an employer or a prospective student and a representative of a graduate school/program. It typically takes place after the person has applied for an open position (or for admission to a program). The interviewer, often a hiring manager, recruiter, or admissions representative, poses a series of questions about the candidate's experience and expertise as they relate to the position or program they’ve applied for.
Sometimes called an asynchronous interview, a one-way interview is a pre-screening tool employers use to determine if you should move forward to the next round of interviews.
Responses to questions are reviewed by people and sometimes artificial intelligence is used. Sometimes candidates are allowed to re-record their answers. Common platforms include: HireVue, Pymetrics, Montage, and Mya.
Phone Interviews are still popular, especially as a first step in the interview process.
Live virtual interviews more closely mirror an in-person interview with a live interviewer (in real time) on the other side of the screen.
Virtual interviews often use video chat tools like Zoom. Much of the advice for in-person and phone interviews remains the same, but extra preparation should be taken to minimize technology issues and to get comfortable interviewing through a camera. Check out this advice on nailing the live virtual interview
In-person interviews have historically been the most common way of interviewing, especially in the final rounds of job interviews. While they are now less common throughout the process, many of the same tips and techniques apply for in-person as they do live-virtual.
Behavioral interviewing is a unique and increasingly common way of asking questions to assess your past performance in certain situations. Behavioral interview questions ask you to tell a story or give a specific example that demonstrates a skill or competency. These questions often start with “tell me about a time when” or “give me an example of…”. The links below can help you prepare to be your best during behavioral interviews.
In consulting, and some other industries, you will be asked to participate in case interviews. Case interviewing requires a very different approach than traditional interviews. The links below can help you understand and prepare for case interviews.
Visit our Consulting Career Track page for case interview tips and resources.
Medical School Interview
Technical interviews are common for employers recruiting for engineering, science, or software roles. Essentially it is an interview to assess your technical ability for the role, and the depth and breadth of your knowledge in your chosen field. The process that is used to solve a given challenge is of interest to employers, as it gives them a glimpse into how you would solve a real-world problem at work.
Preparation: Employers can tell the difference between a candidate who enters an interview prepared and one who is just “winging it.” Below are a few points to help you prepare for your interviews including information on the STAR technique, one specific approach to interviewing.
Big Interview - Big Interview is an AI tool to help you prepare for interviews, whether you’re interviewing for jobs or for graduate schools.
(Note: If you're a Michigan alum and would like to access Big Interview, use the following instructions for accessing the interview tool.)
Mock Interviewing - Use our mock interview appointments as a final dress rehearsal. Practice your interviewing skills, then receive immediate feedback during your session. Available to all students seeking a job, internship or applying to graduate/professional school. Schedule online, or call us at 734-764-7460.
Career Coaching - Connect with our staff for call ahead advising or a scheduled appointment to get help preparing for your interview. Call 734-764-7460 or schedule an appointment online.
Common Interview Questions
While there is no standard set of interview questions every company or organization uses, there are several questions that are common for many people throughout the interview process. Check out this guide on the most recently common interview questions, and how to answer them.
- The STAR technique (Situation or Task, Action and Result) offers one strategy to help you stay on track with your interviewing answers, specifically with behavioral interviews. Remember, behavioral interviews are the “tell me about a time when” or “give me an example of” types of interview questions. The Muse's article on the STAR technique has a brief description to help you learn how to use STAR in interviewing.
“What questions do you have for me?” Preparing questions for employers is key to understanding more about their company/organization and for showing continued interest in learning more. Questions help you assess your fit and if this is a good opportunity for you.
- Why is this position open?
- Could you please describe what my typical work day may be like?
- How would you describe the organization’s culture?
- What is the training schedule and process for this position?
- What are the department’s goals for this year?
- How is feedback on my job performance given?
- What do you think is the greatest opportunity facing the organization in the near future? the biggest threat?
- What do you enjoy about working for this organization? What attracted you to it?
- How are new ideas and feedback solicited from staff?
- What kind of professional development opportunities would be available to me?
- When do you expect to make a decision?
One of the best ways to learn about career and potential job prospects is to talk with individuals currently working in that field. This is called “informational interviewing.” An informational interview may be conducted in person or via phone/zoom to help you gain knowledge about a field of choice. Whether you are still exploring and want to learn more basic information about a particular field, or if you have decided on a field or occupation and you are looking for tips on job searching, an informational interview is a fantastic resource.