Penn State University
3.8 of 5 358 reviews
www.psu.edu University Park, PA 5000+ Employees

Penn State University Interview Questions & Reviews in Pennsylvania

Updated May 31, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

71%
10%
8%

Interview Experience 

63%
32%
3%

Interview Difficulty 

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

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Teaching Assistant Interview

Teaching Assistant
University Park, PA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Penn State University.

Interview Details – Had a phone interview that lasted roughly 45 minutes. Emailed resume. Received email a day later with the offer. Did not receive an actual offer letter until the start of the position

Interview Question – What do I see myself doing in five years?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No, I was not able to negotiate.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Research Assistant Interview

Research Assistant
State College, PA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Penn State University in May 2013.

Interview Details – No "standard" interviews. Went directly to professor, talked about research and filled out paperwork to become an RA in the lab the same week. Had to complete a background check, which was completed in approximately one week

Interview Question – What can you contribute to this research project?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Ra Interview

Ra
State College, PA

I applied in-person and the process took 10 months - interviewed at Penn State University in August 2011.

Interview Details – First you have to apply for the graduate program in Material Science and engineering. The requirement can be found from their website. Once you decide the research direction, you need to start contacting with the professor working in the similar research area.

Interview Question – Basic knowledge of material science   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Administrative Support Assistant II Interview

Administrative Support Assistant II
University Park, PA

I applied online and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Penn State University in June 2012.

Interview Details – 2 interviews of 1 hour in length. Panel of 4 interviewers took turns to ask about various aspects of the jobs I have handled. Each member of the panel had a copy of my resume. The more work anecdotes of various experiences you can share eloquently gets you the job. Mostly behavioral questions. Ability to learn new software is critical

Interview Question – Who was your worst boss and why?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Graduate Research Assistant Interview

Graduate Research Assistant
State College, PA

I applied in-person and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Penn State University.

Interview Details – I did a phone interview with my boss where we talked about his expectations for a PhD student and what we both expected to get out of my time at Penn State if I came to work for him.

Interview Question – Questions were pretty much as expected. Mostly they were about what I expected the PhD experience to be like and what I thought I was going to get out of it.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Student Worker Interview

Student Worker
State College, PA

I applied in-person and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Penn State University in January 2013.

Interview Details – Initial communication led to an in-person interview where I signed documents. They conducted a background check, and when I was approved I was asked what times would be convenient for me to come in to shadow a current work study student.

Interview Question – There were no difficult or unexpected questions, I was just asked for the basics like current semester standing and how many hours I'd be willing to work per week.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Research Assistant Interview

Research Assistant
State College, PA

I interviewed at Penn State University in January 2010.

Interview Details – Talk to desired professor, luckily the professor likes me, so I got the position.

Interview Question – Not really had difficult question   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Administrative Assistant I Interview

Administrative Assistant I
University Park, PA

I applied online and interviewed at Penn State University.

Interview Details – Penn State is serious when they hire new staff. They plan the interview time and date and send a parking pass for your convenience. The interview team usually consists of 5 or more people.

Interview Question – There are many questions - the most difficult are the situational questions. How would you handle....; tell us about a time when... How have you resolved .....?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Graduate Assistant Interview

Graduate Assistant
State College, PA

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Penn State University in February 2012.

Interview Details – The application process to the graduate program was straightforward and standard for the industry. I was invited for the interview "weekend" (Thursday night through Saturday afternoon) and this is where I realized I was a poor fit for the institution. Although they regard themselves as one of the best programs in the industry, they had no rationale beyond citing themselves. Yes, they have one of the top researchers in our field, but even she did not seem enthused about the program. Choosing a graduate program is about "fit" and we were not a good one. Between interviews, all of the candidates were in one medium-sized room and facilitators circled around us to make sure we were "networking." As an introvert, all of that togetherness made me very anxious and I felt overwhelmed.

Interview Question – Why do you think you are better than the other applicants invited this weekend?   View Answer

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Associate Director of Development Interview

Associate Director of Development
State College, PA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Penn State University in December 2012.

Interview Details – Interviewed with the college staff, director and dean after being referred by a current development officer. I visited with upper management of the division prior to applying or and interviewing for a position. Applied in the past without much success.

Negotiation Details – A lower offer was negotiated up before being brought back to me. I probably could've negotiated an increase, but felt it was a solid offer and I accepted it.

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Penn State University interview questions and advice in Pennsylvania. All 34 interview reviews posted anonymously by Penn State University employees and interview candidates.