Before the Interview
Research the company using the company website, recruiting literature, annual reports, informational interviews with people in similar positions, industry magazines and journals, and/or your Career Services Center. Read the Job Description.
- academic background
- previous work experience
- special honors and achievements
- special skills
- career goals
- personal goals
- and leadership skills
Look your best.
Dress professionally. If you are not sure, ask for advice from your career advisor, a teacher, or a friend employed in a similar job. Dress for your interview as you would for a very important occasion. The key is to be conservative. Look professional! (visit the Dress for Success section)
Prepare your answers to some commonly asked questions (examples in our Interview Guide).
Think about how you will answer certain questions before the interview. Know your strengths, weaknesses, skills, and abilities and be prepared to discuss them. Have situations in mind to illustrate your points or to give examples of your experiences. However, don't give "set" or bookish answers.
Prepare your own questions for the interviewer.
Asking questions shows that you are interested and enthusiastic about the organization and the position. It also demonstrates that you are well-prepared and willing to work. Employers appreciate applicants who have done their homework in researching the organization.
Arrange a mock interview with an advisor at the Career Services Center or participate in the Mock Interview program held each semester. Remember to bring:
- a pen and extra paper
- portfolio or folder with extra copies of your résumé, transcripts and references
This Include full names, business titles, business addresses, and telephone numbers of at least three individuals who will serve as references for you. You must ask these individuals for permission, informing them that they may be contacted by an employer. Use adults whose references would be of value to you - supervisors, professors, etc.
- Arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview.
- Call ahead if you are going to be late due to an emergency.
- Remember the interviewer's name.
- Remain standing until the interviewer offers you a seat.
- Be aware of your nonverbal communication. Your posture, eye contact, hand gestures, and facial expressions are all very important.Make sure the interviewer has your resume early on in the interview.
- Sit up straight in your chair, leaning forward slightly to indicate your interest in the interview.
- Maintain appropriate eye contact with the interviewer.
- Use hand gestures to emphasize a point but don't gesture wildly or nervously. Avoid tapping your fingers or other nervous gestures.
- When answering questions:
- be brief and to the point
- use specific examples
- watch your grammar
- never speak negatively about yourself, your employer, your previous employers, or your colleagues
- NEVER misrepresent your background or qualifications.Ask questions! Questions illustrate knowledge and interest in the company and position. Do your RESEARCH!
- Be self-confident and honest, dwelling on your accomplishments rather than a lack of experience and weaknesses. However, don't exaggerate or lie; it may come back to haunt you.
- Do not expect an offer on the spot.
- Ask the interviewer what the next step is in the interview process.
- Thank the interviewer for his/her time, offer another handshake and ask for a business card.
How will I be evaluated?
- First Impressions
- General appearance
- Non-verbal communication
- Enthusiasm and interest in position
- Presentation skills
- Content of responses
- Listening skill
- Knowledge of company and position
- Questions you ask