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 ( as soon as possible. You always have the option of setting up a phone 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 face forward, so that you feel both comfortable and confident. When you arrive, you will be greeted by the Fair Employment Practices Administrator, who can address your questions and concerns. The FEPA will serve as your advocate throughout the process by monitoring the hiring to make sure it is conducted fairly. He or she will take notes on the interview (with your consent), which will be confidential and only used in case you appeal the decision. When you're ready, you will go in 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 relatively large group of people. The group will include the HiCom chair; the supervisor for the position; and 3-5 members of the Hiring Committee. This group will take turns asking you questions. Although the sight of a roomful of people might initially intimidate you, 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 here to make a consensus-based, impartial hiring decision that treats you with respect.


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; why you're applying; and hypothetical questions about situations you might encounter. You will be provided with a copy of the questions and 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 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-opers and students 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 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 Fair Employment Practices Administrator will be your advocate and resource throughout the process. If you have questions or worries before or after the interview, just email for confidential help. You can also speak to the FEPA confidentially during the interview process. The FEPA can help you with issues like unfair interview questions, discrimination concerns, or discomfort due to a prior relationship with a HiCom member. The BSC is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, and the FEPA is here to protect your rights as an applicant.


Hopefully these tips leave you feeling prepared and confident. BSC jobs give you a unique chance to gain practical work experience that can serve you well in the future, while helping to run your organization, so seize the opportunity! Good luck!