Interview Tips For Applicants

Congratulations on getting an interview! This might be your first job interview; it might not. Either way, these tips will familiarize you with the BSC's hiring process and help you feel ready for your upcoming interview.

 

What if I can't make the interview?

If you have a scheduling conflict, please inform the Hiring Committee Chair (hicom@bsc.coop) as soon as possible. You always have the option of setting up a phone and/or Skype/Facetime interview during your timeslot if you can't make it to Central Office.

 

What will the day of the interview be like?

You should show up on time (not Berkeley time). Dress in a way that helps you put your best foot forward, so that you feel both comfortable and confident. When you arrive, you will be greeted by the Hiring Committee Chair (HiCom Chair), who can address your questions and concerns. The HiCom Chair will serve as your point of contact throughout the process, will answer any questions you may have, and will ensure that the hiring is conducted fairly. When you arrive the HiCom Chair will answer questions you may have and when you're ready, they will accompany you to the Conference Room for your interview.

 

Who will interview me?

An understanding of the Hiring Committee process can help ease your nerves. Be prepared to be interviewed by a small group of people. The group will include the HiCom Chair; the supervisor for the position; and 1-2 members of the Hiring Committee for student positions.  For professional staff positions, the group will include the HiCom Chair, direct supervisor, Executive Director, and a student executive. For some positions (such as for professional unit-level positions, the group may also include 1-2 additional unit-level representatives). This group will share more information about the position and take turns asking you interview questions to learn more about your previous experience, qualifications, and how you would respond to hypothetical situations and you approach the role. Although the sight of a roomful of people might initially seem intimidating, keep in mind that these are co-opers like yourself, along with some BSC staff members. They've all been trained in hiring practices, and they're goal is to engage in conversation that allows you to share more about your abilities, skills, and experiences so that they can make an impartial hiring decision.

 

What questions will they ask?

You can expect questions on a range of topics: related experience; your relevant skills and abilities; your expectations about the position; what you hope to accomplish; long-term professional development and career goals; why you're applying; and hypothetical questions about situations you might encounter. You will be provided with a copy of the job description to refer to during the interview. It's to your advantage to answer as clearly and completely as you can. You will always have the opportunity at the end of the interview to ask any questions you may have about the role and/or organization and to add any other information you think might help the committee reach a decision.

 

How can I deal with nerves?

First off, know that every other applicant will likely be just as nervous as you, if not more so. All the other applicants are co-op students and/or professionals just like you; so are the Hiring Committee members. Just strive to communicate your answers to the Hiring Committee confidently and calmly, to give them the the best possible idea of who you are and what you would be able to bring to the job. You should familiarize yourself with the job description, but you won't be expected to know every detail of the position. (That's what training is for.)

 

Who can I turn to for help?

The Hiring Committee Chair (Executive Director for professional hirings) will be your main point of contact and can provide resources/support throughout the process. If you have questions or worries before or after the interview, please email them at hicom@bsc.coop or kbenson@bsc.coop, respectively. You can also speak to the HiCom Chair confidentially during the interview process. The HiCom Chair (and Executive Director for professional hirings) can help you with issues like unfair interview questions, discrimination concerns, or discomfort due to a prior relationship with a member of the Hiring Committee. The BSC is an equal opportunity employer, and both the HiCom Chair and Executive Director are here to protect your rights as an applicant. For more information about the BSC Equal Opportunity policy, please see the Equal Opportunity section of your job application.

 

Hopefully these tips leave you feeling prepared and confident. The BSC jobs strives to provide students with a unique chance to gain practical work experience that can serve you well in the future, while helping to run your organization; we also seek to provide enriching and transformative work experiences for professionals wishing to work with students and in support of a nonprofit with an important social justice-oriented mission -- so seize the opportunity! Good luck!

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