Interview Tips: Part 2
This applies to the Ph.D. and the Masters candidates who have completed a thesis. The tendency for the interviewee here is to get into too much technical detail and hence spend too much time. The interviewer, however, will not be able to remember, or even understand, most of the technical details, so it's wise to leave the nitty-gritty details out. Instead, be prepared to mention what is so great about your thesis work and what you learned from it. It's even better if you can relate your thesis work to how it can apply to the company you are talking to.
Remember, the interviewer will remember is (1) whether you have the ability to make her understand your thesis in a short period of time, and (2) the level of importance of your work.
It is usually a mistake to pretend to know something that you do not, because chances are that the interviewer will follow up with questions regarding that exact topic. If the candidate cannot answer these follow-up questions, it tells the interviewer either a) the candidate does not know his/her stuff, or b) the candidate lied about knowing the topic. Either way, it is a big turn-off.
For someone who not even out of school yet, the interviewer will not expect you to know much about the particular industry / area the company is in. If the interviewer happens upon someone who does, that's great, and obviously it helps to get to the next round. However, don't feel bad if you don't know something.
Interviewers, whether they are from HR or from the actual department you'll be working, want to recruit people who are energetic. Imagine for yourself: Would you rather have someone who is always on the go or someone who looks sleepy allthe time? In addition, if a person does not show much energy during the interview, the interviewer will think, "Geez, if this person cannot get excited about an interview, how is he or she ever going to be excited about the job?"
There is one area where being energetic really pays off: Many interviewers start with the question, "Tell me about yourself." If you cannot enthusiastically talk about yourself for at least five minutes or so, the interviewer will wonder if you'll be interested in your future job for much longer.
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