Getting invited to an interview is a very exciting, yet intimidating time for many people. There are many ways that you can prepare to make the process more relaxed and enjoyable.
- Know about the job. Be sure to have read the entire job description several times. What will the job entail?
- Know about yourself. Have a clear idea of what you bring to the table. How do your skills align with the job? Why are you the best candidate? Why do you want the job (other than you want a paycheck)?
- Know about the organization. Research the organization. Why do you want to work for the organization? What questions do you have about the organization? (Remember, salary questions are not appropriate for the interview.)
- Dress for success. Dress appropriately for the interview. Be conservative in your attire choices (save your favorite red stilettos for another day). Visit the Career Services page for Dress for Success tips.
- Be professional. Remain professional in your appearance, language and correspondence with the employer. Use professional language in your conversation with the employer. Avoid slang words. Once you have interviewed, even if they are extremely nice, keep the relationship strictly professional. Avoid Facebook friend request or messages!
- Be prepared. Take several copies of your resumes to leave with the employer. Take work samples in a nice presentation format (consider purchasing a portfolio or nice folder).
- Practice. Review some interview questions before you go. Grab a friend and discuss a few questions or write out your thoughts about some sample questions. Complete a Mock Interview in Career Services.
- Be on time. Make a plan for the interview day. How long with it take you to get there (remember traffic)? Where can you park? Arrive to the interview location 15 minutes early.
- Follow up. Send a thank you card, note or email to the employer. This is an excellent way to set yourself apart from other candidates.
Below are a few questions to help you prepare for your interview. A more extensive list of questions is available at the bottom of the page.
- Tell me about yourself.
- How has your college experience prepared you for a career?
- How would a professor/ employer who knows you well describe you?
- Do you think that your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement?
- Tell me about a time when something did not turn out as you expected. What did you learn from that?
- How have you motivated yourself to complete a task you did not want to complete?
- Tell me about a time when you had to learn something new in a short period of time. How did you proceed?
- Think about a time when you had to interact with a difficult person. What made the situation difficult? How did you respond and interact with the person?
- What leadership positions have you held? Describe your leadership style.
- Can you describe a time when you generated an idea or suggestion at school or at work?
- Why should I hire you?