Mock interviews

Many fellowship competition include in-person interviews in the final stage. Interviews allow selection committees to learn more about candidates' interests, abilities, and future plans.

Our office helps students develop the interviewing skills they need to present themselves in the best possible way.

Mock interviews—panels of faculty members, deans, and office staff —are a big part of this effort. They allow students to test out their skills and get more comfortable with the in-person interview format. Students who take part in mock interviews enter the final stage of the fellowship competition with more poise and confidence.

As faculty members, you involvement is crucial to creating an engaging and challenging mock interview.

In general, you do not need knowledge of the student’s field of study. The diversity of our faculty helps create panels that allow students to prepare for a variety of interactions on the day of the final interview. As experienced academics, you can ask meaningful questions of our finalists and engage them in spirited dialogue.

Most interviews last between 20 and 30 minutes. They usually conclude with a debrief in which panelists provide constructive feedback. URF staff will provide you with the student’s application several days in advance of the panel. We also provide you context about the fellowship competition in question.

The experience of the mock interview is overwhelmingly positive for the student and the panelists. It is one of the most direct and meaningful ways that faculty members can engage with some of Columbia’s strongest and most compelling students.

Please reach out Undergraduate Research and Fellowships to get involved or to refer a colleague to us. We appreciate each and every effort you can contribute to our students!