The interview is a key part of your job search and the employer will use this process to evaluate your skills, background and personality. Don’t forget, this is also your chance to ask questions about the company culture, values, and the job itself. While it is not always possible to know exactly what to expect, proper preparation can give you an edge for success!
Interviews can happen just about anywhere. Your interview may be held on campus, at the organization, a restaurant or elsewhere. You may meet with one person or with a panel. You may be asked to return over several days to meet with different departments, or have multiple interviews in one day.
Understand the format
Types of interview:
You may ask the recruiter or hiring manager:
Tip: Your interview location and format offer important clues regarding how you can prepare. Often phone and/or video interviews precede in-person meetings.
Research the employer before your interview and make sure you understand the mission, philosophy, key products, and services. Asking questions about the employer, and connecting your skills and experience to their needs is key.
Rehearse with a trusted friend and schedule a mock interview with Career Services.
Tip: Schedule a Mock Interview with Career Services to work out the kinks ahead of time!
Arrive at your destination at least 15 minutes before the interview- but don’t check-in more than 5 – 10 minutes prior unless requested from the hiring contact.
If possible, visit the location the day before so you'll know exactly where you're going and where to park.
Give yourself a few moments to review any questions you have for the employer, and go into the interview relaxed and confident.
Bring extra copies of your resume, a list of your references and samples of your work for the interviewer. For your own reference, bring a list of questions and notes about the company or the position.
Tip: Don’t be late. But if the unavoidable happens, call the interviewer right away and explain the reason for the delay.
The interview starts the moment you walk through the employer's door. Waiting room behaviors are part of your first impression. Turn off your phone and review your notes about the organization.
Within the first 30 seconds, your potential employer will make a judgment about you, so dress professionally, make eye contact, smile, shake hands and introduce yourself with a friendly greeting.
The recruiter will start with a greeting and an introduction.
Remember if they begin with “tell me a little about yourself” this is not your personal history. Be brief (2 – 3 minute overview) highlighting your strengths and most important accomplishments.
The interviewer may then review the plan. “We have 30 minutes, so let me start by telling you more about this position. Then I will ask you some questions.”
Be open. Ask questions and approach the interview like a conversation.
Use the STAR method when asked behavior-based questions.
Situation/Task, Action and Results:
Rock your research!
This is when you can show that you researched the position and the organization. Employers will typically close the process with “Do you have any questions for me?”
Reference your notes. Bring a list of questions with you.
Thank your interviewer(s) and reaffirm your interest in the position.
Ask for a business card to send a short personal letter of thanks to your interviewer and anyone else involved in the interview process.
This letter or email should highlight your qualifications one last time and ask about the next steps in the process if they have not been addressed.