- Dress professionally and conservatively
- Maintain a neat hairstyle
- Cover all visible tattoos
- Remove visible piercing jewelry - limit to one earring per ear for women, none for men; no nose, eyebrow, or lip piercings
- Wear perfume or cologne VERY conservatively
- Wear minimal amount of jewelry
- Provide interviewer with your resume
- Smile - it's a universally attractive trait
- Walk with confidence
- Maintain good eye contact
- Shake hands firmly
- Arrive 10 minutes early at interview location
- Be very polite to the receptionist
- Greet the interviewer in a friendly, businesslike manner
- Relax, act natural, and let your personality shine
- Leave cell phone in the car
- Use interviewer's first name (unless or until asked to)
- Arrive late
- Sit down (until invited)
- Show anxiety or lack of interest
- Look at your watch
- Act inferior or superior
- Talk too much - or too little - in your responses
- Be rude to anyone
- Mumble, bluff, or answer dishonestly
- Criticize yourself
- Be negative when speaking about your employers
- Ask about your salary or benefits
THE ART OF PREPARATION
- Research the employer
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses
- Analyze and compare previous job responsibilities to those of position sought
- Remember that volunteer and internship experience count as relevant experience
- Develop and rehearse your responses to typical interview questions
- Frame answers to show job effectiveness
- Have a mock interview at Career Services or use Optimal Interview
- Prepare thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer
- Remember -- practice makes perfect
TEN FREQUENTLY ASKED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why should I hire you?
- What are your major strengths?
- What are your major weaknesses?
- How does your previous experience relate to the position?
- What are your career goals?
- What will your former employers (or teachers, if you are a recent student) say about you?
- Why are you interested in this position?
- What do you know about our company?
- Tell me about a time when… (behavioral questions)
A few more are in the interview handout linked at right.
TOP 5 SKILLS AND TRAITS EMPLOYERS LOOK FOR (NACE 2015)
- Ability to work in a team structure
- Ability to make [good] decisions and solve problems
- Ability to verbally communicate [effectively] with persons inside and outside the organization
- Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work
- Ability to obtain and process information
Can you give examples of how you have shown these?
POWER WORDS AND PHRASES
Use action words in your interview responses just as in your resume:
Achieved, Accepted, Analyzed, Compiled, Created, Determined, Developed, Directed, Instructed, Managed, Mediated, Organized
Prepare “short stories” using these types of words to answer the behavioral (“Tell me about a time when you…”) questions.
QUESTIONS TO ASK THE INTERVIEWER(S)
- What skills are considered most useful for success in this position?
- How often would my performance be reviewed?
- What kind of training program is offered?
- What would be a typical first assignment?
- What career progression do you see for someone in this position?
- What type of orientation would I have?
FOLLOW-UP AFTER THE INTERVIEW
- Send follow-up email thank-you immediately; thank-you letter by the next day
- Allow the employer one week to ten days to contact you
- Take advantage of time by scheduling additional interviews with other companies
- Remember that interviewing is a skill that improves with practice
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
- You have rights to protect against discriminatory interview questions
- Discriminatory questions are usually those items classified as non-job related
- Sex, race, age, disabilities, national origin, and religion are categories employers may not ask about during interviews
HOW CAREER SERVICES CAN ASSIST YOU WITH THE INTERVIEW PROCESS:
- Mock interviews
- Individual interview guidance
- Interview reference materials
- Job/interviewing leads
- On-campus job interviews
- Class or student organization presentations on interviewing
Schedule a visit to Career Services for a mock interview or interviewing assistance!