Interview Guide and Keys to Success

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EMC hires the best. When we meet with applicants, our discussions focus on discovering the skills, traits, and behaviors that tell us who you are and how well you’ll fit into our work environment. Be prepared to answer questions about your course work, projects, and work experience—especially to demonstrate your problem-solving skills, initiative, and adaptability.

Do you have the skills of an exceptional performer?

Consider these sample questions:


  • Tell me about how you recently anticipated a problem before it occurred.
  • Cite an instance when you had to solve a problem with little guidance or direction.


  • Describe a time when you put the needs of a group before your own when completing a task.
  • Recount a situation when you had difficulties working with someone on a project. What did you do to improve the relationship?


  • Tell me about a difficult or complex project where you provided realistic time frames for task completion and regularly updated management on progress.
  • What goals do you have for your career? How do you plan to achieve those goals?


  • Cite an instance when a group you were leading failed or did not meet expectations. How did you take responsibility?
  • Provide an example of when you had two projects competing for your time. How did you prioritize? Were you able to keep your commitment to both projects?


  • Tell me about a time when you sought ways to create and improve the way in which work gets done.
  • When assigned a project how do you approach it? Do you seek to merely meet the objectives or do you make it your goal to go above and beyond? Give an example.


  • Describe a situation from which you learned quickly and overcame adversity or failure.
  • Give me an example of a time when the rules or structure of a project changed at the last minute. How did you react?


  • Give me an example of a situation where you admitted making a mistake. How did you approach the situation and what was the response?
  • Recount an instance when your integrity was tested, (i.e., keeping a promise or confidence, being truthful).

Sense of urgency

  • Describe an instance when you had to anticipate obstacles in your action plan. What contingency plans did you prepare? What was the result?
  • Tell me about a situation when you faced demanding deadlines. What steps did you take to ensure you achieved your goals by the deadline?


  • Provide an example of when you had to tailor a presentation or message for a certain group of people.
  • Describe a situation when you successfully communicated with a difficult person(s) or circumstance?

Driving change

  • Give me an example of a situation where you recognized the need for change. How did you adapt your style to obtain results?
  • Recount a situation where you constructively challenged an established procedure or way of doing things.

Preparing for your interview

Preparation is the secret to a successful interview. Here’s how you can prepare for and steer a winning meeting.

  • Research our company — See our corporate profile for a summary of EMC’s core businesses, markets served, our worldwide presence, and leadership as ranked by industry analysts.
  • Leverage your intern/co-op experiences — Ask your manager for guidance, especially if you’re an EMC intern.
  • Dress like a professional — Wear appropriate business attire.
  • Practice — Participate in mock and on-campus interviews. Practice responses to frequently asked questions.
  • Ask questions — Some good ones: What kind of assignments might I expect in my first six months? How often are performance reviews given? What skills and characteristics are most important for this position and for the company? When should I expect to hear from you or should I contact you?
  • Close effectively — Send a “thank you” e-mail, emphasizing your interest in the position. This is your chance to mention facts you omitted in the interview. Be sure to proof.


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