The Interview for a Marine Science and Conservation Career

Speak Up For Blue Podcast

The Interview is an important process of getting a job. This episode tells you why.

This episode of the Speak Up For Blue Podcast is a continuation of the special Saturday series on how to reach a sustainable career in Marine Science and Conservation. I’m doing this series because a lot of you have expressed that you’re having trouble finding jobs. And I believe, that you shouldn’t be finding just jobs…you should be finding careers. If you’ve missed some of the previous episodes regarding this, here are some of the past episodes:

Session 232
Session 228
Session 224
Session 220
Session 216
Session 214


Today’s episode is all about the interview. This is assuming that you’ve already surpassed the application process, and your resume and cover letter and they want to meet you. This is the interview round. I should say beforehand, that I can’t say I’m  completely successful at this particular process, because that would mean I get any job I interview for. The interview process is quite subjective, it depends on who the hiring manager is looking for, who they want in terms of an employee: attitude, personality, work ethic, where they’re from, etc. I’ve been successful on some, but not all. But it has allowed me to attain the career I have today. So I’m going to provide you with advice based on my own successes, and what I’ve learned from some of my failures (not getting the job based on the interview). This post will provide you with a summary of what we discuss in the podcast. If you want every golden nugget, then listen to the episode above, and make sure to subscribe for future episodes as well!

The interview process is where they want to get to know who you are and how you can “fit” into their organization and culture. Are you the right “fit”? If you are, you’ll get the job; if not, no dice. So, they’re going to test you throughout the interview process, on a lot of different things. They’ll test you on whether you know what you claim to know; whether you’re able to meet the responsibilities and qualifications; whether you’re able to conduct yourself in an appropriate manner. They’ll also evaluate you on your attitude.

When you prepare for the interview the best thing to do, is prepare your answers. For example, there will almost certainly be a question on if you have ever dealt with conflict in the workplace, and how you handled it. Leadership, initiative, working with a team, communication, presentation. When you prepare to answer these questions, you’re preparing your story. Always a true story, but YOUR story. Practice that story on your family and friends. When you practice, the story will be effortless and seamless in your interview. It will help to take the edge off your nervousness and anticipation. You want to be excited, and showcase your passion.

Your attitude is probably the single most valuable asset or detriment when you walk into an interview. You have to show your personality. But you have to be available to be positive. Shake hands, make eye contact, smile. When you sit down at the interview table. Sit down, back straight, hands on the table, ready to engage. Your body language will voice your attitude, as much as your words. Let your passion shine through.

After the interview is finished, you’re going to want to follow up. You want to make sure you will hear from them. Sometimes, you won’t hear from them for awhile. But you want to let them know of your excitement about the position. I always follow up a day or two after the interview, usually I’ll send a thank you note; thanking the hiring manager for their time, their willingness to meet with me, and I’m looking forward to speaking with them again soon. A quick email, thanking them. About a week to 10 days later I would email to ask where they are in the decision making process; and reiterate to them how excited you are at the possibility of being the chosen candidate. It is important to follow up to stay front of mind, so that the hiring manager doesn’t forget about you. Definitely don’t be annoying by emailing every day, or every week. But, don’t be afraid to follow up according to a consistent, patient plan.

In the podcast episode, I talk about a lot of different interviews I have been in, personally; Skype interviews, Phone interviews, in person interviews, interviews for which I’ve been flown somewhere for a meeting, other interviews where I had to take part in role-playing activities. If you want to hear about all of those different scenarios, listen to the episode above to arm yourself with as much information and advice about interviews as possible.

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Show Notes

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