Congratulations, you scored a job interview! Now what?
The interview is your opportunity to 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.
Remember 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.
- Bring a short paragraph about yourself to be able to quickly and concisely share who you are.
- Stay positive and show enthusiasm for the position.
- Be prepared to share information about your interests, education, work style, and experience.
- Do not be too personal and be mindful of how long it takes you to answer a question.
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)?
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.
- Take a few self-assessment tests to learn about your strengths and values.
- We offer Focus 2, which is a career and education planning system. Feel free to use it in preparing for your interview!
- 25 Most Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
- 7 Ways to Nail Your Phone or Skype Interview – By Debbie Swanson of LearnVest