Second Interview - Graduate Assistant

Discuss interviews you've had, ask questions and get tips.

Second Interview - Graduate Assistant

Postby jimmyeatdeen » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:09 pm


I've got a second (and third) interview for a job as a Graduate Assistant at a university next week. Usually when I go for an interview I like to come prepared with something like a plan or idea for what I would do if I was offered the job. I think it's good to have something solid to hand to the interviewer, to make you stand out.
However, the job description for this position is very vague, as it is a three year training scheme which basically trains you up on all the behind the scenes admin stuff at the uni. So now I'm stuck on ideas for anything to prepare and bring in for the interview.

Any ideas?

Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:08 pm

Re: Second Interview - Graduate Assistant

Postby Hannah » Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:29 pm

Hi Jimmy

I don't understand. Do you mean you go along to the actual interview with a written note / plan that you hand over to the interviewer?

Does this work? I guess it might make you stand out but perhaps not in a good way.

Some interviewers might think that you are not good under pressure and therefore you bring along something that looks like a cheat sheet. It might also be quite distracting in the interview process.

If you have had success with this method in the past then maybe I am wrong.

Personally I would say that just bringing yourself along with well prepared answers would be far better.

Do your research on the university, the services that you might be providing graduates, thoughts about your goals and how this job can help you achieve them.

Good luck with everything.
User avatar
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:58 pm

Re: Second Interview - Graduate Assistant

Postby simonwallace » Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:00 pm

It isn't that common for interviewees to take along a written plan Hannah but in the current jobs market anything that can make you stand out from the crowd is a good idea.

If you do not know many details about the jobs you will probably have to make a number of assumptions about the sort of things that you will be doing at the job.

If this is an administration job then the sort of things you will be doing could be quite diverse.

In the early parts of your training you may well be undertaking basic admin tasks...drafting letters, filing, data entry etc.

But as the job progresses a uni administration job is likely to involve tasks such as planning - i.e. organising lectures, their timetables and the rooms that they will be teaching in. A difficult task in a large university.

You may also be dealing with a large amount of data, such as student records. You will learn to use the relevant IT packages to process and manipulate this data.

Essentially if this job is looking to train you up to be one of the main administrators in the uni then they are going to be looking for someone who knows how to organise, and make the uni run as smoothly as possible.

Perhaps your plan of action could explore your own personal learning goals that would help you to be the key administrator.

i.e. first six months learn full extent of basic admin tasks and get accustomed with all departments, next six months learning the planning system, next six months learn the management information systems at the uni...etc.

The only thing to be wary of is that as this is a graduate programme, they are already likely to have a plan of what you'll be doing, what you'll be learning and when. So you should be careful not to try and impose your plan.
Simon Wallace
what will they ask?

All you need to know to succeed at job interviews -
Site Admin
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:09 pm

Return to Job interview tips

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest