On Breaking the Interview Seal

15 Dec

My first internship interview is over, and I think it went pretty well. I didn’t say anything stupid, had answers ready for everything I was asked, joked with the training director about lawn care, and didn’t subject myself to a wardrobe malfunction by failing to hook the back of my skirt closed over the zipper… although that was only because my friend Laurie caught me before I got in the car and hooked it for me.

I didn’t even get asked anything out of the ordinary. My friends had drilled me with a series of creative questions the night before the interview to prepare me for anything the the interviewers might throw at me. “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” “What would you do if your interviewer turned into a snake?” “OK, let’s say you’re being chased by a giant poisonous snake and you have two options: You can run, or you can chop off its head with a hoe. If you run, turn to page 46. If you chop off its head with a hoe, turn to page 47.” “Oh, you ran. Sorry, you fell into a pit and died.”

So, given the extensive level of my preparation, I was a little bummed out when they didn’t even ask me to name the movie that has influenced my life the most. (Which is obviously Cool Runnings. Either that or Weekend at Bernie’s 2.)

Here are the questions I was asked, for anyone out there looking to prepare for their own upcoming interviews. This was an hour-and-a-half interview with three individuals at an integrated care facility with child and adult rotations.

  • What are some of the things that attracted you to this program?
  • Tell me about your assessment experience.
  • Tell me about the clinical experiences you’ve had in your program.
  • What are your career goals?
  • Tell me about the client you’ve worked with the longest.
  • Tell me about the work you did with a typical client recently. By typical, I mean someone with depression, anxiety, panic disorder, something like that.
  • What’s the status of your dissertation?
  • Are you familiar with [this city]?
  • Which rotations are you most interested in?
  • What kind of exposure have you had to projective testing?

Only about half of my time was devoted to me answering questions – my interviewers seemed more interested me asking questions of them than vice versa. Here’s what I asked:

  • What kinds of characteristics does an intern need to be successful here?
  • I’m really interested in [these 2 rotations], and they seem to focus on fairly similar populations. Could you tell me a little more about the differences between these two settings?
  • How does your program balance support and autonomy for interns?
  • A former intern here told me she enjoyed her supervision experiences at your site and felt really well-prepared for her career after internship. Is her feedback pretty representative of what interns say?
  • How would you describe your supervision philosophy?
  • You have so many clinical and didactic opportunities available here, and I’m wondering how they fit together in a typical week.
  • I loved this area the last time I visited, but I was only able to spend a couple days here. What would you say is unmissable in [this city]?

One down, lots to go – although I think the others will be a little easier now that I’ve gotten the first one out of the way. At this point I’ve got two interviews left in Texas, two in North Carolina, two in Georgia, and two in Virginia. Still waiting to hear back from one, but I think the waiting game should be over by next Tuesday, and I’ll be free to focus on more important things, like making Christmas cookies and watching Cool Runnings. Next interview isn’t until the first week of January.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: