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University of California Interview Questions & Reviews

All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  


Interview Experience  


Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
14 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Graduate Student Researcher Interview

Graduate Student Researcher

Interviewed at University of California

Interview Details Department was very communicative, faculty were great to speak with, students were very helpful in sharing information about the department and courses. Students were also very responsive by email. Department was very fast in making the decision and letting you know. Visit days are well-organized.

Interview Question – Why do you want to do basic scientific research and why Berkeley?   Answer Question

Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Senior Analyst Interview

Senior Analyst

Interviewed at University of California

Interview Details Awkward, the colleagues seemed tense as if they didn't want to work there.

Interview Question – Why did you move in high school?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I didn't negotiate

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Technical Assistant Interview

Technical Assistant
Santa Cruz, CA (US)

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at University of California in January 2011.

Interview Details I applied through UC Santa Cruz's Job Portal and I got hired.

Interview Question – There were no questions-- I got hired based off of my application.   Answer Question

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Programmer/Analyst II Interview

Programmer/Analyst II

I applied in-person and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at University of California.

Interview Details This was an internal transition. I recall that when I was moving to my new department, there seemed to be an overall anti-new-department sentiment amongst the colleagues I was leaving behind. In fact, one of my colleagues who was due to transition with me pulled out at the last minute. The then-director and his immediate managers were judged to be nepotistic, and people felt that they threw employees under the bus in order to boost their own image within the organization.

Interview Question – How will you compensate for your lack of knowledge and experience in this field?   Answer Question

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Intern Interview


I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at University of California in September 2011.

Interview Details Everyone in this office is very professional and helpful.

Interview Question – Why do you want to work here?   Answer Question

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Renewal of Postdoctoral Fellowship Interview

Renewal of Postdoctoral Fellowship

The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at University of California in February 2010.

Interview Details There is no interview to get the position for the first year of tenure. Allocation of position is entirely based on some ordinary application requirements, research proposal, support of mentor in selected UC campus, and 3 letters of recommendation. To renew the position for a second year candidates present a personal progress report, justification of need to renew the fellowship, and a report by the mentor. While in certain cases candidates are selected for a 1:1 interview (or small panel interview), in other cases the renewal is granted simply after assessment of renewal application, and no interviews are required.

Interview Question – None. All questions were based on the ongoing research, progress report and academic plans for the future, so no surprises. The interviewee is always in control, as questions pertain to his own work. Interviewer was supportive at all times and offered good "mentoring" tips and advice.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Not applicable. The fellowship comes with a closed salary amount not subject to negotiation. It is the same for all fellows across the board (except minor differences by discipline, especially in sciences --biology, chemistry, etc-- where fellows may have greater start costs, need for expensive materials, etc.)

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Program Coordinator Interview

Program Coordinator

The process took 1 week - interviewed at University of California in May 2010.

Interview Details I was contacted for a phone interview with someone in human resources. I did well and they called me the next day and asked if I could interview in person within a day or two. As I lived in the opposite end of the state, it was a stretch for me to be able to do that. I wanted the job, however, so I purchased a plane ticket and took a day off work to interview in person.

The second interview consisted of a group interview with six managers and department personnel. They each took turns asking questions and were all very friendly. I felt I was in sync with what they wanted and they exemplified what I was looking for in a work culture. Lastly, I did a skills test which included internet research and composing mock emails to professors and students. I felt very confident that I had researched the information correctly and composed professional emails.

Despite having purchased a plane ticket, hotel, and car rental (yes, they were aware of this), I never heard back from anyone. I sent follow-up emails, a voicemail, and was ignored.

Interview Questions

  • A mother of a student calls you and is frantic that her son has lost his wallet while studying abroad. How do you handle the situation?   Answer Question
  • If you were a type of cheese, what type of cheese would you be and why?   Answer Question

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Consulting Interview

San Francisco, CA (US)

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at University of California in January 2011.

Interview Details They went through a series of questions.

Interview Question – set up a program   View Answer

Reason for Declining – pay

No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Business Analyst Interview

Business Analyst
Oakland, CA (US)

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at University of California in March 2011.

Interview Details The interview process was fairly simple and professional. The interview consisted of two on site interviews. The first interview was with the Hiring Manager and another Business Analyst. It consisted of standard Business Analysis questions about requirement gathering, documentation and task prioritization. Was presented with various scenarios, technical as well as professional, to solve. The second interview was with the department's Sr. Director. Standard HR interview with questions ranging from "Why is this a good position for you?" to "What will you bring to this position?". I was also required to provide with some work samples as well as TWO professional references.

Interview Question – What would be your approach to a situation for with you require some feedback and you do not have your Manager to guide you?   View Answer

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Farm Advisor Interview

Farm Advisor

I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at University of California in January 2009.

Interview Details Applied through university website. contacted within 1 week for on site interview. Traveled to location, then had a panel interview followed by the director 1:1 interview. The interview panel were my peers in UCANR, had questions regarding the research I do. I presented a science presentation, followed by on-site writing sample over my seminar topic geared to grower perspective.

Interview Questions

  • Describe how you would use a split plot design in your field of research.   View Answer
  • Describe the life cycle of 'such and such' organism.   View Answer
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – No, they are strict on the compensation- at least with me. They wouldn't go up any more, because I didn't have any post graduate work experience. They at least said it was related to years of work experience. Ph.D automatically places at assistant level step III, more years work experience get higher steps. Tried to negotiate my spousal accommodation, but didn't work either. They hem hawed around on it.

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