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Interview Basics

  • Arrive at your destination at least 15 minutes before the interview — but don’t check-in more than 10 minutes prior unless requested from the hiring contact.
  • 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. Within the first 30 seconds, your potential employer will make a judgment about you.

  • Dress professionally, make eye contact, smile, shake hands and introduce yourself with a friendly greeting
  • Don't sit down until invited to do so and sit up straight- no slouching
  • Remember if they begin with “tell me a little about yourself,” this is not your personal history. Be brief (2- to 3-minute overview) highlighting your strengths and most important accomplishments.
  • Be open. Ask questions and approach the interview like a conversation.
  • If you get a tough question, it's OK to pause and collect your thoughts or ask for clarification if you don't understand. Occasionally you will get a multi-part question and may have to ask them to repeat a section.
  • Be positive and honest when answering questions, stretching the truth or embellishing will only lead to problems down the road!

Common Interview Questions

Tip: Use the STAR method when asked behavior-based questions. Situation/Task, Action and Results:

  • Outline the situation/task
  • Explain the actions you took
  • Share the results

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?”

  • Always be ready to ask intelligent questions, referencing your notes.
  • Bring a list of questions with you ranging from very position-specific questions to "What do you like most about working here?"

Questions to Ask the Interviewer (PDF)

  • Thank your interviewer(s) and reaffirm your interest in the position.
  • Ask for a business card to send a short personal letter/email of thanks to your interviewer and anyone else involved in the interview process.
  • Send your Thank You within 24-48 hours of the meeting.
  • Interviewers appreciate sincerity and personalization. Your note should reference something specific about the discussion.
  • Don't forget to highlight your qualifications one last time, convey your enthusiasm for the position and ask about the next steps in the process if they have not been addressed.

Sample Interview Thank You Letter (PDF)

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