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Interviews

Interview Quick Tips

Practice makes perfect

InterviewStream lets you rehearse interview questions using your webcam and mic

Your interviewer wants to know:

  1. Can you do the job?
  2. Do you want the job?
  3. Do they want to work with you?

Prepare your best material

Your "pillars" are the framework of your whole interview. Figure out your three best answers to the question, "Why should I hire you for this job?"

Answer from experience

"Tell me about a time when..."

  • Situation
  • Obstacle
  • Action
  • Result

We're here to help.

Drop-in advising in Thompson 101A

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  • 10 am - noon | Fridays

Build Your Interview Confidence!

Landing an interview with a prospective employer is a big accomplishment. This is your opportunity to make a personal connection with the employer and show why you'd be perfect for the job. Interviewers want to see that you are able to present yourself, that you are articulate and comfortable, and that you are able to handle difficult questions and situations. They also want to see what kind of colleague you will be. After all, they'll have to work with you!

Before the Interview

Do your research

  • Research the position, company, and industry as much as possible.
  • Know your resume inside and out. You should be ready to explain and elaborate on anything you included on a resume.

Prepare your talking points

  • Walk in the employers' shoes, reflect on the qualities and experiences they are seeking, and write down just how you match these needs. Practice expressing your strengths in different ways, to answer different potential questions.
  • Create your "elevator speech" - two or three sentences that clearly state why the employer should hire you, articulating your strengths and demonstrating your uniqueness. An interviewer may ask this directly or imply it in other questions, so you should be able to adapt it to the situation.
  • Anticipate the interviewer's questions. Prepare answers with specific examples from your resume, and practice them out loud.

Practice

  • Practice, practice, practice! Brush up on your skills and work out the jitters by doing a mock interview in the Studio or online at InterviewStream.

On the Day of the Interview

Look your professional best

  • Dress appropriately for the industry or the company. You want to be remembered for who you are and not what you wear. Consider a solid conservative suit with coordinated shirt or blouse, polished shoes, and limited jewelry. Be well groomed with little scent or makeup. Be sure to feel comfortable.

Come prepared

  • Bring a copy of your resume, a list of references, possibly an unofficial copy of your transcript, and a list of questions for employers. Place all documents in a padfolio with a pen.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early, with time for a stop in the restroom to make sure everything is in order.

Breathe

  • Take a deep breath, relax as much as possible, and be confident. Think of your interview as a business meeting between equals. Remember, you are also interviewing them.

At the Interview

Make a good first impression

  • Introduce yourself with a strong, confident handshake. Make eye contact. Be polite, attentive and professional. Smile.

Respond thoughtfully

  • Take your time and think through your answers. You are not expected to fire back answers as though you had memorized everything. It is also preferable to say "I don't know" as a response instead of bluffing your way through an answer.
  • Be enthusiastic about the position. Even if you have your doubts about the job, the interview is the wrong time to give the impression that you're on the fence.

Be yourself

  • When asked the most common reason for hiring someone, interviewers answered that it was because they liked the individual. Smile!

After the Interview

Thank everyone

  • Ask for business cards from everyone you meet during the interview. This will be helpful in writing thank you emails or letters.
  • Send an e-mail or handwritten thank-you note within 24 hours after your interview to anyone with whom you interviewed. Express your sincere appreciation, reemphasize your strongest qualifications, and reiterate your interest in the position.

Follow up

  • Plan your follow-up contact based on the information the employer has provided about the search. If they are interviewing candidates for a week, follow up after that time period. Employers may take between two and eight weeks before informing candidates about the position. If the process is not clear, you can follow up with an email or phone call after two weeks.

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