Companies often look for candidates who can wear multiple hats, meaning, the candidates which are the most desirable are those who have a primary area of specialization, a sub-specialty, and an advanced knowledge of a field that is theoretical.
Your level of preparation for your campus interview will be the deciding factor in your success or failure. Remember that it is better to be over prepared for campus interview in contrast to being under prepared. Because of the importance of interviews in this selection process, it would be a good idea to have "mock interviews" which will help you to deal with tough or unexpected questions.
Mock interviews can be set up with members of your committee. Having a mock interview will give you the time to prepare for the questions that you will receive during the real thing. When it comes to campus interviews, you will want to conduct all interviews in person.
Unless candidates are specifically required to conduct phone interviews, avoid them at all costs.If you have control over the schedule of your interviews, set them up early in the day, as people tend to be tired in the late afternoon and the interviews generally don't go as well. No matter what interview you're conducting, all should be handled with the same level of professionalism and seriousness.
What You Should Bring With You to Each Interview
When traveling to a campus interview, it is best to travel light. Traveling light means that if you're arriving by plane, everything you have should be carry-on. You will want to bring one brief case that contains all your paperwork and interview tools, as well as a smaller bag that contains your clothes and other personal items. Bring little things like buttons and threads, extra pairs of glasses or contact lenses, and stain removers to deal with any potential little problems that could occur. Be sure that your clothes are color coordinated and your shoes should be comfortable.
When you arrive to your interview, it is crucial that you bring a list of questions to ask the people who are interviewing you. Keep in mind that the campus interview is not a one-sided process. You must interview them as well. Bring a note pad so that you can write down important information. In regards to your behavior during the campus interview, never say anything negative about anyone or anything. While you will always want to sound confident and enthusiastic, never appear cocky. Appearing eager and desperate is equally bad.
Your Behavior During The Campus Interview
Your general behavior during a campus interview should be that of a colleague as opposed to a student. Avoid talking too much; it is crucial to give the other side time to speak. When you do speak, make sure you're direct to the point and concise, and never provide any additional information unless it is necessary and beneficial to you. You will want to answer their questions, and then ask them questions of your own. You want this process to function more as a conversation, and that means both sides must give and take.
During your interviews, match your strengths and abilities with the needs of the company you're applying with. Get the other side to talk more about the position as this allows you to better show where you fit in. During your interview, always make eye contact. It also helps to have a sense of humor, but never go overboard. While it is important to be professional, you must also be personable. Never relax too much, but don't be too tense. Never forget that meals and parties are part of the interview process. After each group of interviews are completed, remember to send a thank you note to every committee chair.
During campus interviews, many individuals rely too heavily on their technical ability to succeed. The problem with this is that you will often be up against rivals who have abilities which are equal to, and in some cases greater than your own. In the campus interview, companies are more concerned with your confidence level, your mental ability, and your communication skills. If you prepare well, and you're confident, you will succeed.