Undergraduate Research

Interview Tips

Once you've found someone doing work that interests you, prepare for an interview with some of the following tips.

  • Think about the kinds of skills you already have and the kinds of skills you want to develop.
  • Be able to explain why you find this project interesting or useful.
  • Do your homework. Find out about the faculty member's current projects and express curiosity. Be prepared to ask questions that show your interests.
  • Be sure to display a strong work ethic and be professional when working with faculty.
  • Make an appointment with the professor and ask her or him to tell you more about the project. Ask how students can get involved.
  • If you and the professor agree to start doing research together a project together, congratulations! But if not, don't give up. The professor may have a project open up later that year, or even the next year. That professor may also be able to steer you to someone else doing similar or related research. And you may be able to work on your own skills to make yourself a better researcher for that professor. Don't hesitate to ask how you can better prepare yourself to work with her or him. Much of research is about persistence, patience, and endurance.

Look at online examples of other student work to get an idea for what may be possible in terms of scope, resources and involvement.