Dear QB: How do I talk about QuestBridge in interviews?

DearQBWhether you’re a freshman in college or wrapping up your senior year, you’re likely applying for internships or jobs this time of year. When it comes time to interview, you don’t have to be afraid of highlighting QuestBridge. In fact, you can use it to your advantage to highlight your strengths and set yourself apart from other interviewees. Here are a few ways you can leverage your QuestBridge story:

1. Add QuestBridge to your resume.

Your resume is typically the first thing a potential employer looks at to get to know you. In addition to listing your relevant work experience, skills, and education, you should add QuestBridge to the section where it fits best for your story. Consider adding it to the following sections:

  • Awards and Honors
  • Education
  • Extracurricular Involvement/Community Service

2. Briefly describe QuestBridge to your interviewer.

Now that QuestBridge is on your resume, it will be much more natural for it to be referenced in your interview. Don’t get caught up in the details about QuestBridge — keep the focus on you! To provide brief context about QuestBridge, you can simply say that you were admitted to college through QuestBridge, which is an organization that connects high-achieving, low-income students to top colleges. (If you received a College Match Scholarship, make sure to say that, too!)

To further elaborate, start to talk about what you were able to accomplish in college, given the opportunities that QuestBridge provided. For example, you could talk about:

  • Leadership opportunities you took on through QuestBridge.
  • Clubs or experiences you were able to participate in at your college.
  • Career interests that were influenced by your college and/or QuestBridge experience.

3. Use your story to answer the tough questions.

As a Quest Scholar, you have already had to think through your personal story to get into college. Answering tough interview questions applies many of the same story-telling techniques as your college essay.

One of the most common interview topics is: “Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle.”

This is your opportunity to leverage QuestBridge through your personal story. Achievement in the face of adversity is more impressive than achievement in normal circumstances. Make sure you approach this questions from a positive angle, highlighting your best characteristics and values. This is a good opportunity to emphasize your emotional maturity and how challenges in your life have helped you grow as a person. You may compromise that impression if your tone is resentful or excessively dramatic.

4. Think about how QuestBridge fits into your personal “brand.”

Grit and determination are traits that all Quest Scholars typically share. And good news: employers value those traits, especially when paired with a positive attitude! Before you interview, take time to think about how the characteristics that helped you become a Quest Scholar translate to your career path. Calvin Nguyen, Quest Scholar and Emory alum (’12), discovered his personal brand as “humble and hungry” when it came time to interview for jobs.

Similar to Calvin, try to identify at least two specific adjectives that sum up how your past experiences influenced your future aspirations. Although you likely won’t be asked to share these during an interview, it will help you frame the answers to other interview questions.

We hope these tips will help you land the job or internship of your dreams!