Be Prepared for the Interview
You must prepare for the interview. The following steps can assist you.
- Assess your skills, abilities, interests, personality, values and career goal as it relates to the position.
- Practice how you will articulate this information about yourself to the employer.
- Research and learn as much as you can about the position and the organization.
- Schedule an appointment with a member of the Career Connections Center team to practice interviewing. Practice, practice, practice.
- Use StandOut to practice. See additional information below under "Practice with StandOut."
- Review the Questions Asked by Employers.
- Prepare questions for the interviewer. See the list of Questions for Applicants to Ask Employers.
- Use the services of the Career Connections Center to assist you with your preparation any other concerns you have in preparing for the interview.
During an Interview
- Accentuate the positive
- Select and articulate relevant information for your responses - how can your qualifications benefit the employer
- Cite examples of past experiences and events to support your responses; share your achievements and accomplishments when appropriate
- Listen carefully to the question(s)
- Be clear and concise
- Be confident and enthusiastic
- Be honest
- Use the STAR method to respond to interview questions
- Have questions for the interviewer (it shows interest in the position and company)
It is important for you to learn as much as you can about the position. Focus your questions on the position and the company. Remember, the interview is an opportunity to exchange information - the company wants to learn more about you and you want to learn more about the position and the organization in order to make a more informed decision; so it's important for you to ask relevant questions.
Although salary is important to know, it is strongly recommended that you not bring up salary until you receive the job offer.
- Know your resume and be prepared to discuss your qualifications for the job
- Research and learn as much as you can about the position and the organization
- Be ready to describe your strengths and weaknesses
- Practice interviewing with a member of the Career Connections Center team, a friend or a relative
- Dress professionally
- Check the location of the interview, you may even want to practice getting there the same time of day as your interview
- Be on time or better yet a little early, fifteen minutes will do
- Turn off your electronic devices
- Bring extra copies of your resume and list of references
- Be courteous and respectful with everyone you meet
- Make eye contact and use a firm handshake
- Show enthusiasm
- Ask questions about the company that cannot be easily found on the web site
- Ask questions or seek clarification if you are not certain about what you are asked or told
- Ask for the interviewer(s) business card
- Follow up, make sure you write a thank you note and get it to them within 24-48 hours
- If you promise to follow up on something, do it.
- Keep the accessories to a minimum (no visible body piercings)
- Use proper English and avoid slang
- Do not chew gum during or smoke just prior to the interview
- Arriving late to the interview
- Lack of research
- Failure to ask questions
- Discuss salary too soon
- Badmouth other employers
Practice with StandOut
StandOut is an online tool you can use to practice interviewing at your convenience using a webcam. Select questions you would like to practice responding to or use one of the general question sets provided. View videos on interviewing tips from experts. Save and review your interview with a member of the Career Connections Center.
An invitation for a secondary interview, if the company or organization uses secondary interviews, indicates that the company is interested in you. Your interview will probably be with the supervisor and others in the department that has the job opening. As with your first interview, continue to communicate your qualifications and skills and what you can do for the company.