Understanding the STEM Interviewer: Common Questions and How to Answer Them

Understanding the STEM Interviewer: Common Questions and How to Answer Them

One of the deciding factors in landing a STEM job is making a good impression on the recruiter. Therefore, understanding and answering their questions wisely is the crux of the whole recruitment process. Companies spend a lot of time and resources into hiring the perfect candidate who not only fits the role but also aims to grow with the company. These recruitment resources also include the interviewers or hiring managers who are responsible for evaluating the candidates based on their academic, personal, and professional capabilities to find the best fit for the organization.

Unlike interviewees who represent themselves as individuals, interviewers represent their organization. They structure the interviews based on the expected role of the candidate in their organization and use behavioral-based questions to evaluate an applicant’s technical and soft skills.

Every question asked by these hiring managers is a calculated and structured prompt to acquire detailed responses that help them understand the candidate in a better way. Jeffrey Harvey describes the psychic behind every interview question in his book, “STEM Secret for Interviewing.

Here are some common questions asked by interviewers in a STEM job Interview.

  1. Tell us about a time when you took the initiative for a project.

Interviewer’s Intent:

Here, the interviewer wants to know your willingness to work outside of your responsibilities.

What should be your answer?

Talk about an instance where you took extra responsibilities. If you are a fresh graduate, you can talk about your internship experiences or research projects where you had cases of working more than your acquired responsibilities. Don’t forget to include your team members in the conversation to show that you are an avid team player and willing to take a valuable role whenever the need arises.

  1. Tell us about a challenging project you worked on.

Interviewer’s Intent:

Here, they want to know your adaptability, problem-solving skills, and your response to failure.

What should be your answer?

Identify the keywords right away! Describe an instance where you faced a challenge and what was your response to the problem at hand. How did you overcome it? Here, the recruiter usually evaluates how level-headed a candidate is in times of pressure and how they handle it.

  1. Recall a time when you made a mistake and had to make it right.

Interviewer’s intent:

They’re looking for accountability in candidates.

What should be your answer?

Your answer must be authentic and described in a style that highlights you as an accountable and responsible individual. Such as narrating how you let your team members know about the mistake and what action plan you make to correct them. Don’t forget to include the lessons you learned through this experience and how you can avoid it. Refrain from focusing too much on the mishap. Rather, drive attraction towards the steps you took to tackle it.

  1. Ace your stem interviews with the expert’s advice.

The questions mentioned above are just a drop in the wide sea of knowledge that is packaged in Jeffrey Harvey’s interview guide, STEM SECRETS FOR INTERVIEWING. Authored by a STEM recruiter himself, this book contains 71 of the most important questions recruiters ask in STEM job Interviews.

STEM Secrets for Interviewing Is a must-have for anyone planning to start their career in the STEM field or is nearing the interview process. Get your copy from Amazon today!

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