Interview Preparation

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Do you have any tips to help prepare for an upcoming research assistant interview?

Are there common interview questions that come up again and again?

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Haley in Worcester, Massachusetts

77 months ago

I've been to 3 interviews for RA positions now, and common questions include: "What are your plans for the future?", "What is your previous research experience?", "What aspect of research do you find most appealing?", "What are you hoping to learn from this experience?", "What was your GPA?". Most of the questions will be pulled off of your resume and will be personalized. For example, "Tell me about your independent study Junior year." At the interview they are basically just trying to inform you in detail about what the position entails, while also trying to get a feel for your qualifications and interests. I haven't come across a question I couldn't answer, so don't stress. It's a lot easier then it seems. Good luck!

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fay in Auckland, New Zealand

29 months ago

Thanks guy for the tips, i have an interview next week! My first interview in 6 months of unemployment and job hunting! Im soo nervous!! I',ll add the questions they ask me after the interview!! You asked this questions a long time ago, how did it go? Are you working as a RA now? Good luck guys!!

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fay in Auckland, New Zealand

29 months ago

Thanks guy for the tips, i have an interview next week! My first interview in 6 months of unemployment and job hunting! Im soo nervous!! I',ll add the questions they ask me after the interview!! You asked this questions a long time ago, how did it go? Are you working as a RA now? Good luck guys!!

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Zed in Manchester in Stockport, United Kingdom

18 months ago

Hi Guys,

I know this is the 10 months old topic but I'd like to say your posts have been so much helpful that I decided to comment anyway. I haven't got a job for very long time and I have been invited to interview for a research assistant. On one hand, I am very happy for this opportunity but, on the other hand, so scared I might lose it. But thanks to your comments, I know what I can expect. I did read up, I have some clues regarding the specific area. However, I still feel like I'd need so much more time >.<

I can see many people reported these comments very helpful so I will update it as soon as I can after the interview.

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Zed in Manchester in Stockport, United Kingdom

18 months ago

Hi It's me again

I'd like to give an update after the interview. There were three sets of questions I have been asked for.
1. General questions. Everything to break ices and make me feel relax.

2. General and then specific questions regarding team working
All RAs are parts of a team. It's important to prepare good examples from experience such as:
- was it multidisciplinary or international team etc.
- problems encountered, problems solved. Communication between members of different disciplines? Regular meeting / sessions? Presentations etc.

3. Project specific questions.
Proving the experience in requested fields in job description is very good! Show the knowledge in the specific area and talk about it. Show experience, where, when, how requested skills and knowledge stated in CV were utilized. How problems were solved. Creativity etc. The examples from experience, problems encountered, problems solved is what makes a candidate strong.
Also, they took my CV and opened discussion by imagining situations I'd be in. They asked about opinion on how to improve quality of data or new methods that I have even not encountered in literature I read up.

4. Candidate's questions.
Good moment to sell your knowledge from reading on this specific field. How much are you familiar with problems. Opportunity to extend discussion about the field and project, what is the trend / aim. About a project: what data did they already have, how they acquired the data so far, which equipment/ methods, what can be improved. This is IMO where they may be fully convinced that a candidate is the one :)

Good luck.

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Sam in Nottingham, United Kingdom

14 months ago

Hey!

Thanks for updating your experiences,this indeed was very helpful!!!
I will update my bit if I come across any other questions relating to RA position.

Thanks again!

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Hal Joey Hekil in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

14 days ago

And what happens if you have no experience as RA? What if it's your first interview?

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