Congratulations, you scored a job interview! Now what?

student standing outside the Supreme Court in a business suitThe 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.

Additional Resources