Professional Development Tips

Interviewing Tips

Congratulations, you scored a job interview! Now what?

The interview is your opportunity to shine and show a potential employer how great it would be to have you on their team. Use these tips and resources to create a successful experience.

dan2Remember the interview is the employer’s opportunity to assess your fit for a position and the organization as a whole. Regardless of the format (phone/video or in-person, one-on-one or panel), most interviews take a common sequence:

  • INTRODUCTIONS – A few minutes of small talk to set the tone of the interview.
  • INFORMATION – Brief summary of the employer, position, and possibly, the format of the interview.
  • QUALIFICATIONS – Questions and answers about your qualifications for the position.
  • CONCLUSIONS – Explanation of next steps in the selection process.

Before the Interview

  • Research the organization’s purpose, structure, strengths, and challenges.
  • Obtain a copy of the position description.
  • Evaluate your interests, skills/abilities, and weaknesses for the position/organization.
  • Practice interviewing with a career advisor or employer through Career Services.
  • Obtain professional and appropriate attire for the position.
  • Know the exact location of the interview and plan to arrive 10 minutes early.

During the Interview

  • Be courteous to everyone you encounter; staff may be asked for their input on your interactions.
  • Turn off your phone and do not use it while waiting for the interview.
  • Stay positive and show enthusiasm for the position.

After the Interview

  • Send a thank you note to each of your interviewers. (See Resume and Letters for helpful hints on creating a thank you note)
  • Follow-up with a phone call or email if you have not heard from the employer within the time period indicated for a decision.

Interviewing can be nerve-wracking, especially answering the questions. You should be prepared to share information about your interests, education, work style, and experience. It is good practice to write a short paragraph about yourself to ensure that you are able to quickly and concisely share who you are. Be careful to not over share and be mindful of how long it takes you to answer a question.

This video from List 25 is a useful tool in prepping for an interview. Additionally, you can also help yourself by taking a few self-assessment tests to learn about your strengths and values. We offer Focus 2, which is a career and education planning system, on our Professional Assessment Tools page. Feel free to use it in preparing for your interview!

25 Most Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

You have come to the end of your interview and you have a window of opportunity to find out more about the position you are applying for and the company you hope to work with. Also, this is a great time to learn more about their hiring process. Here are a few questions to consider in wrapping up your interview.

Questions You May Ask the Interviewer

  • What kinds of assignments can I expect in the first six months?
  • What are the primary challenges I will face in the position?
  • What is the largest problem facing your staff or department?
  • What is the next course of action in your search process?

Questions to Not Ask the Interviewer

  • What is the salary for this position?
  • Can you describe the leave policy?
  • How quickly can I expect to be promoted?
  • Do you financially support staff in graduate studies (or other questions that may imply you see this as a short-time job)?

More companies and businesses are incorporating technology into their interviewing processes. You may be asked to interview over Skype or the phone. Interview tips already shared apply to these interviews, but you will want to consider your appearance and surroundings during the interview. This short article may be helpful.

7 Ways to Nail Your Phone or Skype Interview – By Debbie Swanson of LearnVest

Check out the Professional Etiquette page for helpful tips on dressing for your interview!