Do you have prior experience?

Don’t let this question scare you. If you’re applying for your first job after college, it’s unlikely you’ve had a job that’s identical to the one you’re interviewing for. However, you do have experience! Share your relevant experience through school, volunteer work, part-time jobs, internships, and extracurriculars.

Whenever possible, try to quantify your previous accomplishments with specific outcomes and metrics; it lends credibility to your response. At the same time, don’t fall back on good grades. The hiring manager is more interested in your hands-on experience.

Yes, I do have prior experience in the research field. In college, I spent eight semesters interning in ABC Lab. While I was there, I co-authored two papers that ended up getting published.