University of Pennsylvania

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University of Pennsylvania Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 11, 2014

Getting an Interview  

85%
5%
5%

Interview Experience  

60%
26%
13%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
26 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty

No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Research Specialist A Interview

Research Specialist A

I applied online and interviewed at University of Pennsylvania.

Interview Details – My interview was scheduled directly with the P.I. through email. I interviewed a week after the initial contact, and was given their decision two weeks after the interview date. I interviewed with three different lab personnel. The interview was informal and I wasn't asked too many questions. They did most of the talking and I was asked only about my previous research experience.

Interview Question – None of the questions were difficult or unexpected   Answer Question


No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Research Specialist Interview

Research Specialist

I applied online and interviewed at University of Pennsylvania.

Interview Details – I interviewed here twice- same position in two different departments about 6 months apart. Both experiences were crummy.

Experience #1- Long phone interview, then in-person interview. Travel was (very) partially reimbursed but only after reminding them more than once. They were looking to hire 'in a few months' but still interviewed me. I followed up maybe two months later and was told that they had put the search on hold but would let me know either way. Then I never heard from them again and saw the position reposted a few weeks ago. The people were very nice but I think when applicants spend a significant amount of time and effort going to interviews, we're owed a polite rejection. It's not that hard.

Experience #2- No initial phone interview, instead I was invited for an in-person interview and given very rigid time frames. When I explained that I'd be traveling from out of state (which was clearly listed on my resume) and the times didn't work for me because of travel restrictions, they said they'd get back to me about times in the future because the PI would be traveling. I was able to rearrange my schedule and make one of their times work but wish I hadn't. These people were unnecessarily rude and acted as if I should feel privileged that they even deigned to be in the same room with me. They said they wanted to fill the position ASAP but certainly within the month. Then they introduced me around and just left me standing there with someone in the office for at least 20 minutes… he had to go and track my interviewer back down and then she just told me I was all done. They didn't even acknowledge that I came from out of state on my own dime, last minute, and rearranged my schedule to meet with them.

I never heard from them again (surprise) except when HR sent me an email saying that this position matched my profile and inviting me to apply for it… it was the same position I had just interviewed for a month earlier! And my HR profile was marked as 'interviewed' so it seemed pretty obvious.

It also seemed obvious that no one communicates with one another and they don't know what they want, they just like to 'window shop' candidates. It seems that neither of these positions have been filled.

I'm sure Penn has the cream of the crop to pick from because they are certainly acting as such. But I certainly will not waste my time applying with them in the future. It seems like it'd be a pretty good place to work overall but when you can spot the dysfunction within a one-hour interview, there's more than likely tons more to be seen…

Interview Question – The questions were general experience questions, nothing crazy.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Research Assistant Interview

Research Assistant

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at University of Pennsylvania.

Interview Details – An all-day (6 hr) affair at the CNDR consisting of 5 consecutive interviews and tours of the place. There weren't many questions, but rather you were expected to ask the questions. I did some research and reading on recent papers published (there are a lot) and did demonstrate that I had done the work, but still, 6 hrs is a lot of stuff to cover without feeling like a repetitive robot. Overall, I was not successful and kind of feel crappy that I had to go through this just to fail.

Interview Question – Tell me about your research experience.   View Answer


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Registered Dietitian Interview

Registered Dietitian

I interviewed at University of Pennsylvania in February 2014.

Interview Details – very detailed phone interview to start.

Interview Question – What was your greatest accomplishment in life.   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Marketing Manager Interview

Marketing Manager

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at University of Pennsylvania in November 2013.

Interview Details – As with many higher education institutions, the interview process moved fairly slowly. My main contact was always willing and happy to provide me with an update hen I asked, and I was pleased to find everyone I interacted with so pleasant. I had a phone interview, a 2nd phone conference interview with two people and an in-person group interview with five executives. I didn't feel any of their questions were particularly unexpected or unreasonable, though they were insightful and thought-provoking. I was concerned I would feel outnumbered at the in-person interview but each person made an effort to make me feel at ease. I would definitely consider applying to Penn again.

Interview Question – The most difficult question was regarding the transition to a higher ed environment. I felt I needed the execs to provide me with more information before I could determine what the obstacles might be.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Research Associate Interview

Research Associate

Interviewed at University of Pennsylvania

Interview Details – Great work culture. Competitive hiring process and wonderful research environment. Love the food carts for lunch around the campus.

Interview Question – How is that you can work along with your wife in the same department   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Research Specialist B Interview

Research Specialist B

The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at University of Pennsylvania.

Interview Details – It took about two weeks for a hiring manager to make initial contact. It consisted of a panel interview. The panel seemed uninterested from the start. I was not offered an opportunity to ask questions about the position. I was practically pushed out of the door and a comment by the hiring interviewer stating that it would be a very long time before I heard from them because they are going through to motions of HR requirements about paperwork and performing a certain number of interviews needed for documentation (Perhaps they meant the affirmative action paperwork that makes them tally how many minorities they interview per job). Never heard from them again.

Interview Question – No trick questions, they weren't interested from the start.   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Administrative Assistant Interview

Administrative Assistant

I applied through other source and interviewed at University of Pennsylvania.

Interview Details – I was in a different department interviewing for that department in front of a panel of six. A panelist took my resume back to her department for the position that was open in her department. I was call in for my first interview a week or so after the interview with the panel and the second the week after that. Was hired and I've been here in the College Advising Office ever since (16 years). I'd start to interview with other departments after not being able to go any farther in this department.

Interview Question – The most difficult Question is where do you what to be in five or ten years.   View Answer


No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Information Interview Interview

Information Interview
Philadelphia, PA

I applied in-person and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at University of Pennsylvania in September 2013.

Interview Details – The process was a very good one. I made connections and talked with very knowledgeable people. They were very open and extremely helpful.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Administrative Assistant Interview

Administrative Assistant
Philadelphia, PA

I applied online and the process took 3 days - interviewed at University of Pennsylvania in January 2013.

Interview Details – I applied online received a call for an interview 3 days later.

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