UC Santa Cruz

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UC Santa Cruz Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 30, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

51%
33%
8%

Interview Experience  

82%
11%
5%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
21 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty

Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Advisor Interview

Senior Advisor

I applied online and interviewed at UC Santa Cruz.

Interview Details – nothing to disclose here- it was long and arduous and had nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of the programming after the hire fact. Good questions tpo not mean it is a good place to work.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

PA IV - Unix Systems Administrator Interview

PA IV - Unix Systems Administrator

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at UC Santa Cruz.

Interview Details – Long, difficult slog to get to the interview process at all; you have to get materials ... all materials... in by the Initial Review Data on the jobs.ucsc.edu website. If you miss this date, you might as well have not applied. Interviews were doled out by committee 6 weeks after the initial review date.. interviews are by committee with pre-printed questions. State law prevents a lot of testing or re-assessment.. if you're close to the exact qualifications on the job description, you have a shot, but if you aren't, state law prevents a hire, so make sure you're well-versed enough to be able to talk the talk. If you do get in, it's easy to fake it til you make it though. There's a lot of incompetence on the hoof there, so if you're lacking in an area, you won't look bad as long as you resolve it swiftly.

Interview Question – There weren't really difficult or unexpected questions, which made the process odd. The questions are designed by committee, and there aren't a lot of hard hitters. Some "have you memorized commands" things, and on interviews involving coding issues, sometimes a chunk of code to interpret, but this shouldn't be difficult or unexpected for that type of job interview.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Negotiation is a little minimal. They have sliding salary scales that are publically available. Largely, hiring managers' hands are tied.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Student Dining Hall Worker Interview

Student Dining Hall Worker
Santa Cruz, CA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at UC Santa Cruz.

Interview Details – Applied and interview phone interview set up. Asked 6 questions and was offered job in same phone call

Interview Question – Describe a time you dealt with a difficult customer   Answer Question


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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Residential Assistant Interview

Residential Assistant
Santa Cruz, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at UC Santa Cruz in May 2010.

Interview Details – The interview process was long, but enjoyable! First, one must pass a paper application review out of about 80+ applicants. Then, a group interview is conducted, in which 40-50 remaining applicants are observed while performing team-building exercises. Finally, participants are narrowed down to about 20 in number and are too interview one-on-one with Residential Life Staff or Academic Staff and a former RA with experience with the position. If one passes this, they will finally be selected to be a part of the Residential Life team, consisting of about 7-10 continuing/experienced RAs and 7-10 newly-selected RAs. This is how the process took place at Crown College, UCSC for the selection of the 2010-2011 ResLife Staff.

Interview Question – How would you handle a potentially violent or dangerous situation?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – During the final interview, you can state whether you are more interested in being a residential hall assistant (70+ freshman) or an apartment community resident assistant (30+ continuing/non-freshman students).


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Administrative Assistant III Interview

Administrative Assistant III
Santa Cruz, CA

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at UC Santa Cruz in February 2012.

Interview Details – The interview process was very straight forward. I was asked to give my specific experience with a number of skills ahead of time. I was also given questions up front so that I could consider my answers. As far as I know, this is rather uncommon practice at UCSC for this type of position. Everyone was very friendly and I got excellent feedback after the interview. They were clear about when they would get back to me, and they followed through.

Interview Question – I had the questions ahead of time, so there wasn't really anything unexpected. I don't recall any of the specific questions or any of them being particularly difficult. I always dislike the question about a difficult situation and how you handled it.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – When they made the offer, I asked if any of the benefits were negotiable, such as vacation time, and they said that UC does not allow negotiation of benefits. So I asked for several levels higher than their offer and they asked me to write a letter explaining why I thought I deserved that pay. A few days after I submitted my letter, they accepted my counter-offer.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Administrative Assistant III Interview

Administrative Assistant III

I applied online and interviewed at UC Santa Cruz.

Interview Details – The hiring process at the University takes a while because of fair hiring practices. Just remember that the questions they ask you are the questions they HAVE to ask all the candidates, so sometimes they are repetitive or not applicable. Everyone you interview with takes notes, so be sure to give detailed answers with examples!

Interview Question – Questions weren't too difficult, but the toughest would be " Give an example of a staff issue you have had in the past with a coworker or manager and how it was solved?"   View Answer

Negotiation Details – After you get a call from your unit, you get a call from staff HR. They usually lowball the first offer, so make sure you negotiate.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Programmer Analyst III Interview

Programmer Analyst III

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at UC Santa Cruz.

Interview Details – Got and interview. 20 questions over an hour, most were softballs. Took three months tho.

Interview Question – Describe a technical problem you were unable to fix.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Dining Hall Worker Interview

Dining Hall Worker
Santa Cruz, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at UC Santa Cruz in April 2013.

Interview Details – Well, I came in a few minutes early but the person who was going to do my interview was really busy. When she came in, we did the interview in the dining hall. she asked me the general questions people usually ask, mostly about how you deal with co-workers who dont get along or those who you dont get along with. At the end, she told me that they were looking to hire 5 to six people.

Interview Question – Describe a time you had to deal with a difficult situation with co-workers   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Resident Assistant Interview

Resident Assistant
Santa Cruz, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at UC Santa Cruz in February 2011.

Interview Details – The position was advertised around campus early January and deadlines to apply were late January. First round interviews were group interviews where we had to present a one minute project on any topic to a group of our peers, participate in team building exercises, and talk to management. Second rounds were two on one behavioral interviews.

Interview Question – Applicants were emailed a list of potential questions so preparation was simply a matter of putting in the work and figuring out your answers.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiations.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Director Interview

Program Director
Santa Cruz, CA

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at UC Santa Cruz in May 2012.

Interview Details – Submit cover letter,resume, and internal application. Group interview with 3 to 5 people. Sometimes a phone interview to screen out before the in-person interview. Some interviews can happen via videoconference.

Interview Question – All of the questions were specifically related to the qualifications, which were known to me ahead of time. There wasn't anything unexpected or difficult. If you prepare answers related to the qualifications, the interview goes well.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – As for what I wanted, was offered less, but promised a raise to what I asked for in a year, given excellent performance.

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