Interviewing

Interviewing is a crucial stage in the interview process, and candidates must be prepared in order for the experience to be successful. There are key steps that should be followed in order to maximize success, and those steps have been outlined below.

Career Services offers mock interviews to students and alumni for jobs and graduate school. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment.

PREPARATION BEFORE INTERVIEW

  • It is important that you know information about the position, organization, and industry before you arrive at the interview. This knowledge will allow you to interview more effectively, ask pertinent questions, and put you at an advantage for future salary negotiations. The Internet offers a variety of information on this topic, and some sites you could visit are on our Internet Resources page. Journals and networking also offer valuable information.

  • Go through sample questions, write down answers to questions you are not confident with and practice speaking the response, and have people mock interview you. Please go to the link at the top of this page for sample questions.

  • Thoroughly review your resume! This might sound unnecessary, but there are a lot of items you have put on your resume from the past. When you are nervous it is difficult to remember everything if it is not fresh in your mind.

  • Assemble the materials you will need for the interview. These could include copies of your resume on quality paper, list of three to five references, transcripts, nice folder with paper and pen, portfolio, and directions to the interview site.

  • Dress professionally for the interview! Please go to the link at the top of this page for more direction on the attire to wear.


DAY OF INTERVIEW

  • Make sure to give yourself enough time to drive to the site, park, and find the office. It might be wise to drive to the site a few days before the interview for an accurate time analysis. It is good to be early, but do not go into the office more than ten minutes before the scheduled interview.


INTERVIEW

  • Shake the interviewer’s hand promptly and firmly, while smiling and making eye contact. If there is more than one interviewer make sure to do the same with everyone.

  • Make sure that you are sitting up straight and control any nervous mannerisms you may have.

  • Answer the questions in a way that best highlights your skills and abilities related to the position. Your answer to each question should be thorough enough for a strong answer, which is typically one to two minutes.

  • Ask questions! Normally the recruiter will ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview, and you should have three to five prepared questions. However, do not ask about compensation or benefits on the first interview. Please go to the link at the top of this page for sample questions.

  • Ask what the next step in the interview process is and the time frame.

  • Obtain a business card so you have the information for a thank you letter.

  • Firmly shake hands before you leave, ending with a smile and eye contact.


AFTER THE INTERVIEW

  • Send a thank you letter within a day to each person who participated in the interview! Normally the letter can be typed or handwritten, but often depends on your industry. E-mail is usually acceptable if you would like the letter to arrive quickly. Thanking the recruiter will help strengthen your candidacy, as long as it is well written and sincere.

  • Evaluate your answers to the questions asked, and prepare accordingly for future interviews.