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Interview Guidance

Navigating PPS - Tips and Tricks

Gather Information Prior to the Interview

  • Do your research – investigate the institution and position that you are pursuing
  • Consider creating an outline including responsibilities for the position you are interviewing
  • Prepare questions for the employer
  • Consider preparing different questions for different groups of people (peers, supervisors, upper management, etc.)
  • To help you stay organized, you may bring your outline and interview questions with you to the interview to make sure all of your important questions get answered
  • Keep in mind that some PPS interviewers will use their 30-minute time slot solely to answer your questions; it helps to be prepared and have questions written down

Practice your Interviewing Skills

  • Be prepared to discuss:
  • Why you are pursuing this position
  • Your short and long-term goals
  • Your strengths and weaknesses
  • Your past experiences listed on your CV
  • Familiarize yourself with performance based interview (PBI) questions, which are scenario-based questions highlighting your past actions and experiences
  • When answering PBI questions, remember the STAR method to help structure your response:
    • S = Situation
    • T = Task
    • A = Action
    • R = Result
  • Practice your responses in a mock interview with a friend or mentor and get feedback on your responses as well as on your nonverbal communication

At the Interview

  • Dress professionally
  • Arrive 5 – 15 minutes early
  • Relax and be yourself; remember that you are interviewing the program/institution to decide if it is a right fit for you
  • Collect business cards or contact information at the end of the interview so you can follow-up after the interview to thank the interviewer
  • Take notes after the interview to remember how you felt right after the interview when it is fresh in your mind.

Additional Resources 

Navigating PPS 2019

Download Full Document – Navigating PPS (PDF)