Interview Tips

What is an interview?

An interview is a structured conversation between you and an employer where you ask each other questions to determine if you would be a good fit for the job.
What do they want to know about me?
There are two main pieces of information an employer wants to get during an interview: 1. Why you want the job 2.
Why they should hire you ?
All the questions the employer asks during the interview are designed to get more detailed information about these two things.So, to have a successful interview, you must convince the employer of these two things. 

SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEWING: THE BASICS What’s the interview all about? At this point, they’ve probably reviewed your resume and cover letter, and if they’ve called you for an interview, it’s because they’ve determined you’re at least minimally qualified for the job. So now, in addition to your qualifications, the interview is about determining if you will “fit” into the organization.  

So how do you make a good impression? There are 5 main ways:  

1. Be Professional.

• Dress the part. A suit (for both men and women) is usually preferable. Make sure hair, makeup, jewelry, and accessories are conservative and professional. • Be on-time. Allow extra time for travel, and check in with the receptionist 5-10 minutes before the interview. • Be courteous and respectful to everyone, including the receptionist, custodian, landscaper, etc. You never know who will be giving an opinion on whether or not you should be hired. • Bad smells can ruin an otherwise good interview. Brush your teeth and use mouthwash before an interview, NEVER smoke before an interview, and use very little or no perfume or cologne. • Turn off your cell phone! Having to interrupt the interview to silence your phone is NOT a good thing! • Use a firm handshake to greet people, and always stand to greet someone. 2. Be Prepared. • Know the interview location. Find it ahead of time, even if you think you’ll be able to find

2.Be Prepared.

• Know the interview location. Find it ahead of time, even if you think you’ll be able to find it easily. • Know the job description. Know what the job will entail, and what qualifications they’re looking for. • Know the company. Do as much research as you can before the interview. More on this later! • Know what questions to expect (at least the standard ones), and what the employer is looking for. • Know what information you want to share about yourself. • Know what questions you want to ask the employer. More on this later! • Bring your materials. This usually means a copy of your resume for everyone you’ll meet (plus some extras), a pen and paper to write if you need to, a folder or binder to keep everything in, and anything else they ask you to bring.

3. Be Friendly.

• Don’t be so serious that you forget to be yourself. They want to hire a person, not just a set of qualifications. • Smile! (And smile often!) This will make you seem more friendly and likeable. • Be comfortable and confident. This will make the employer more comfortable, and increase your likeability.

4. Be Engaged. •

Being engaged helps convince the employer of your interest in the job. • Make frequent eye contact with everyone in the room. • Pay careful attention to everything that is being said. • Ask questions! If you don’t, it will seem like you’re not really interested. • Sit up straight and lean slightly forward towards the interviewer.

5. Be Gracious.

• Thank the interviewers (several times) for their time and for this opportunity. Be sincere! • Send a thank you note afterward (or thank you email) to leave a good impression. Send it as soon after the interview as possible, and no later than the next morning. 


1. Assess yourself.

Spend time thinking about who you are, why you want this job, and why they should hire you. Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Figure out why you decided to pursue this career field in the first place, why this particular job is right for you, and why this company is right for you. Clarify what your goals are. Figure out what makes you special and unique- what you bring to the table that other candidates may not. Figure out why you are the BEST person for this job. (You’ll have to answer questions about all of these things during the interview.)

2. Research the company.

At the very least, you should be familiar with the information on the job description, and the information on the company’s website. Also, talk to current employees if you can, search for articles written about the company, etc. Once you’ve done your research, prepare the questions you want to ask the employer. • Some examples of things to know: What all they do, who their customers are, their size, what the company culture is like, what kind of training they provide, how many locations they have and where they are, how well the company has been performing, what the organizational structure is, who their competitors are, the typical career path for someone in your field.

3. Know the standard questions and be prepared to answer them.

You may still get an off-the-wall question that you weren’t prepared for, but if you seem surprised by a standard question, you’ll give away the fact that you didn’t prepare well. Some of the most common questions and how to answer them are discussed in the next section.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

A staff member at the Career Center will do a practice interview with you. This interview can also be videotaped so that you can see how you presented yourself, and hear how you answered the questions. You’ll be given helpful suggestions for how to improve your answers and your overall performance. Also, print out lists of sample questions and have your friends and family ask them to you. The more practice you get, the better you’ll do at the actual interview.