Interviews are always full of questions. Questions toward the candidate, questions toward the panel or interviewer. Questions about behavior, strengths and weaknesses, preferences, money, and the list goes on. Most of the interviews I have been on include a list of questions that are asked of all of the candidates and include the normal strengths/weaknesses, what kind of manager do you prefer to work with, how would your boss describe you questions. Some interviews ask questions about behaviors, which make the interviews seem bizarre and not job-specific.

I usually go into interviews with my own questions. I do research on the office, topics, students, and institution, and find unanswered questions through that research. I have also spent time doing all of that, and not finding anything to ask. I can then come up with questions regarding the position, such as work hours, unique challenges, and what kinds of students/populations utilize the office. I've had one interview, on the phone, where I wasn't prepared (my own fault) and had to come up with questions on the fly. I don't recommend that.

Before, during, and after interviews I also have questions. Should I keep applying to other positions? I can always withdraw my applications, and if I don't apply I'll never have the chance once the deadline expires. They haven't called, what do I do now? I interview with mostly panels, and not people from HR. Do I call HR or the lead member of the panel? How should I dress? I've been to interviews where I have been in business clothing and all of the panelists are wearing jeans and sweaters. And then there is that final question: what did they think? With all of my time preparing, writing cover letters, contacting references, doing pre-interview research, rearranging my schedule, and getting dressed up, is it worth it? I have been a "final candidate" in a few searches now, with never being the one called for the position. I guess one thing this has taught me (over, and over, and over) is that rejection is a part of life, and if I don't keep trying, I'll be serving tables forever.

So, once again, I wish there were more resources available for those of us who wish to break into the field.


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