At Saint Mary’s College, you are much more than test scores, GPAs, or personal statements. We want to learn more about you and your motivation to become a data scientist. To get to know you better, you may submit an optional video as part of your application to the Master of Science in Data Science program. Saint Mary’s College has partnered with Kira Talent to allow us to fairly and consistently interview our entire applicant pool through an online platform. The Admissions Committee is excited to meet you virtually.
Why an online interview?
Online video interviews provide a convenient way for all applicants to participate in an interview program as part of the admission process. The Admissions Committee completes a holistic review of all applicants, and the interview provides us with additional information not included in your other application materials. Interviews allow us to learn more about you including your interpersonal skills.
What we look for
Meeting you virtually through the online interview platform, we will gain a sense of who you are and your motivation to become a data scientist. The questions are designed to allow you to tell us about your goals, experiences, skills, problem solving abilities, and resilience.
- You may complete your interview before or after submitting your application through GradCAS. When completing your interview, you must use the same email address on both the Kira interview and the GradCAS application.
- If you submit your application before completing the interview, you will receive an email with instructions to access the Kira Talent platform once your application has been processed.
How the Online Interview Works
Our goal is to make the interview process as easy and convenient for you as possible. This is why you may complete the interview at any time prior to the application deadline. The interview itself is a simple process with three stages to each question. You’ll have a chance to test the system and practice an ice-breaker question before you get started. You can complete the practice question as many times as you would like, but once you start the official interview you will only be able to answer your set of questions once.
A video question will be given to you by your interviewer. Everyone will be asked questions testing the same skills or competencies.
You will be given between 30 and 45 seconds to prepare a response for the question. The camera will be on for you to see how you are presenting yourself, but recording will not start until the end of preparation time.
You will have a set amount of time, usually 60 to 90 seconds, to respond to the question. There will be a countdown before recording begins. The remaining time will be indicated as you record by a colored bar on the top of the screen. Once you are out of time, the question stops recording automatically. If you need to end your response early, you can do so my pressing the space bar.
- Computer with a webcam and microphone
- 20-30 minutes for the interview
You’ll go through steps to set up your device and practice before starting the interview. If you need technical assistance with the Kira Talent system, please contact Kira directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the “Need Help” option in the top right of your interview screen.
Before the interview
- Turn off any noise making devices that might distract you.
- Although a suit is not required, consider dressing as you would for an in-person meeting with a professor or mentor.
- Look at area around and behind you when on camera. Keep your background simple and clutter-free.
- Make sure we can see you when on camera. Try to keep light in front of you to make it easier to see you during the interview.
- Complete the practice question as many times as you would like.
- Start the interview when you feel comfortable and ready.
During the interview
- Imagine the camera is a person interviewing you. Try to avoid looking at yourself on the screen, and look into your camera instead.
- Answer the questions honestly using examples from your life to support your statements.
- If you are asked to “tell us about a time when”, and you can’t think of an example, share with us what you would do in that kind of situation.
- Relax and be yourself.
After the interview
- If you have not submitted your application on GradCAS, please do so and make sure your email address on the application matches the email address used for the interview.
- If you have submitted your application, keep an eye on your inbox to let you know if we have received all of the other application requirements. Once your application is complete, you can expect a decision in about 2 to 4 weeks.