Interview Preparation Resources

The PSA interview is one of the most important aspects in our hiring process. It is a way for us to get to know the person behind the application and resume. Our interviews typically last anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on the position, seniority level, and the number of interested applicants offered interviews.

A Few Tips from Us 

1. Research Penn Student Agencies

It is essential that you read our website and know what we do, what our businesses are, and our history. We will ask questions about both PSA as an organization and the business you intend to join. PSA strives to provide the actual experience to students and like any job interview you attend post – graduation; industry and company knowledge will be heavily rewarded.

2. Dress appropriately "Dress for the job you want!"

Our interviews are business casual, but we welcome candidates to dress in whatever way communicates their professionalism and personality. It’s not always what you say, but how you present yourself that makes a lasting impression. PSA seeks to employ students who are eager to learn and can represent the organization and the University of Pennsylvania well!

3. Bring Yourself and your Personality

Confidence and preparation are vital to a successful interview. For many students, this is their first job interview and that can be intimidating. Stay engaged in the conversation and everything will be fine. You don’t want to appear too nervous, but, don’t be too relaxed. PSA comprises students from all undergraduate schools, ethnicities, sexualities, and interests. We are NOT looking for “a type”. We have found that anyone who demonstrates ambition and dedication can grow within our community and thrive while at PSA and beyond.

4. Ask your interviewer(s) Questions!

The interviews are conducted by one or more Directors in the agency’s leadership team. They love when interviewees ask questions, it shows they’re interested and have done their homework. Before the interview, make sure you’ve prepared questions that you have or that we may not have addressed. We hope that this is also an opportunity for interviewees to learn more about us!

5. Ending your Interview

It’s always appropriate to thank interviewers for their time and the opportunity. Make sure you note the name of the individual who interviews you. We will reach out within a couple of days after the interview to let you know of our decision.

How to Structure an Appropriate Response

We suggest structuring your answers using the S.T.A.R. technique. These interview questions are typically phrased starting with: ” Tell me about a time…”, “Have you ever had to…”, and ” Why are you qualified for …”.

Star Techniques

Prepare. Listen to the question and think of an event.

Situation. Describe the event or situation that you were in.

Task. Explain the task you had to complete.

Action. Describe the specific actions you took to complete the task.

Result. Close with the result of your efforts.

This is a great way to structure a clear and thoughtful response. You may not use this for every question, but it is helpful, especially if you are nervous. Not answering a question appropriately or taking a long time to do so will affect your interview. For more information on this topic, please click this link.

Additional Resources

You can also find helpful information for preparing for an interview at the Career Services Website.