Graduate Interviews As you move through the interview process, here is a general outline of how it works and what to expect.

Making the Rounds

First-round Interviews

Most initial or “first round” interviews last 30-45 minutes and are often 1-on-1 or 2-on-1. The emphasis is to get to know your motivations and goals better, while gathering specific information about the experiences and skills already highlighted in your application.

  • First 2–3 minutes: Introductions, small talk, what to expect
  • Next 15–20 minutes: Questions for you
  • Final 5–10 minutes: Questions for the interviewer, next steps

Second-round Interviews

Some organizations make hiring decisions based on one interview, but several rounds of interviews are the norm, including a visit to the organization itself. Interviews that take place at the organization can last a few hours to a full day, and you are likely to meet with a number of people from the department in which you would work, and potentially employees from different departments.

Questions to Ask

To best prepare for these interviews, ask the recruiter or hiring manager these questions:

  • What is the overall agenda for my interview?
  • With whom will I be interviewing?
  • Are there any materials or information you would like me to bring?
  • Do you arrange for any travel needs?