So much advice for interviewees so little for interviewers...

  • #1
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Well, the day has finally come...

I find myself at the beginning stages of hiring student workers (had 9 replies today, WOW!) to aid with several of the projects going on in various labs in our department.

Any suggestions on picking candidates and insight on good general interviewing questions (or perhaps warning signs?:)) would be much appreciated!
 

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  • #2
phinds
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Well, how about looking at the the other way 'round? Get a book on something like "how to succeed in interviews" and that should tell you what is generally expected in interviews from the point of view of the interviewee and will at least be a starting point for your thinking about what YOU need to do in the interview. That is, tips on how to do well in an interview are bound to talk about the most common kinds of questions asked and the REASON they are the most common questions asked will pretty much be because they are the most reasonable questions TO ask.
 
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  • #3
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Well, how about looking at the the other way 'round? Get a book on something like "how to succeed in interviews" and that should tell you what is generally expected in interviews from the point of view of the interviewee and will at least be a starting point for your thinking about what YOU need to do in the interview. That is, tips on how to do well in an interview are bound to talk about the most common kinds of questions asked and the REASON they are the most common questions asked will pretty much be because they are the most reasonable questions TO ask.
An excellent suggestion, as usual.

Edited, "forgot a coma you know how that goes"
 
  • #4
berkeman
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What kind of work will they be doing? What skills will they need (typing, Excel, programming, electronic instrument familiarity, etc.)?

To be fair, try to ask all candidates the same questions if practical. Or at least have 3-5 standard questions that you ask them all, and then you can tailor the other questions to the candidate and the position.

If schematics are involved, show them one of your vanilla schematics, and ask them to tell you what-all is going on in the circuit.

With the better candidates (who are nailing your questions and seem to have good communication skills), it can be a good idea to switch mid-interview from asking them questions to selling them on your company and the position. Take them on a tour, and show them the kinds of things they would be doing there... :smile:
 
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  • #5
berkeman
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BTW, this doesn't apply so much to hiring student workers, but when I interview experienced engineers, I ask them to bring along some examples of their previous work (as long as it isn't too proprietary) so that we can go over it. When they are showing me their previous work, it's fair game for me to ask pretty complex questions about it. They are usually much more comfortable discussing difficult technical questions when the questions are about work that they have done in the past. :smile:
 
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  • #6
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What kind of work will they be doing? What skills will they need (typing, Excel, programming, electronic instrument familiarity, etc.)?
They will be undergoing training in the campus machine shops and then, depending on their skill sets, possibly moving on to one of the imaging and/or compositional analysis labs. Once completed they will begin work engineering and building pieces for a wide range of experiments.

To be fair, try to ask all candidates the same questions if practical. Or at least have 3-5 standard questions that you ask them all, and then you can tailor the other questions to the candidate and the position.

If schematics are involved, show them one of your vanilla schematics, and ask them to tell you what-all is going on in the circuit.

With the better candidates (who are nailing your questions and seem to have good communication skills), it can be a good idea to switch mid-interview from asking them questions to selling them on your company and the position. Take them on a tour, and show them the kinds of things they would be doing there... :smile:
Excellent suggestions, this is useful.
 

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