Preparing for the Interview


    Prior to the Interview

    • Research the company - company and competitor websites, trade journals, local newspapers, reference books such as Standard and Poor's.

    • Invest in a professional outfit that fits and is appropriate for an interview.

    • Determine the location of the interview - how long will it take to get to the interview, where will you park, will it cost to park, public transportation schedule, lodging, etc.

    • Anticipate possible questions and prepare answers -PRACTICE answering questions!!

    • Build Confidence in yourself by preparing for the interview.

    • Assess yourself - honestly, what do you have to offer an employer?  How can you distinguish yourself from others graduating with the same degree?

    • Get a good night's rest.

    • Shut off your cell phone or better yet, leave it in your vehicle.

      Arrive at the location in a timely manner - 10 minutes early.


    During the Interview

    • It only takes seven seconds to make a first impression.
    • The interview starts when you arrive at the company.
    • Treat all employees with respect.  Often employers ask employees for feedback about candidates that have been on site. 
    • Enter the interview room with confidence.  Stand up straight, extend your hand for a firm handshake and maintain good eye contact.  Sit toward the front of your chair and lean forward slightly as you answer questions.
    • Focus on the interview - even if you interview with different groups of people and they ask some of the same questions, each interview is important.
    • 55% of your message will be sent through your body language.
    • Ask questionsGenerally saying you have no questions suggest you have little interest in the opportunity.
    • Get business cards/names of interviewers so you have follow-up information.
    • Skip the filler - like, ya know, umm.  Organize your thoughts before responding.  This will eliminate the temptation to use filler.
    • Don't jargon your way out of a job.  You don't need to use jargon to soundknowledgeable. Don't assume the interviewer is familiar with the jargon.  Using fancy jargon or big words may really show ignorance.
    • Don't use slang - EVER.  This is serious business.
    • Don't answer before you've been asked.  Interrupting is rude.
    • Don't ask about salary and benefits in the initial interview.
    • Be honest and be yourself.
    • Ask how the decision process willproceed - get a date for a reply.
    • If you're interested, tell the interviewer that you want the job.
    • If you are being reimbursed for travel expenses, ask what information they need from you to complete the process.
    • If you are offered the job at the close of the interview, ask if you can get the offer in writing and when they need your decision.


    After the Interview

    • Follow up immediately (within 24 hours) with a thank you letter or email - reiterate your strengths to match the job requirements
    • Offer to provide further information if needed.
    • Evaluate if the company and position match what you are seeking - make a list of pros and cons.


    Types of Interviews

    Telephone - Employers save time.  They weed out less qualified candidates.  This interview is typically shorter because you don't have all of the in-person formalities.

    Have a good connection, quiet atmosphere, convenient time.

    Keep yourself motivated. Stand up when taking the call - you'll project yourself more confidently and with greater enthusiasm.  Put a mirror in front of you and check your reflection.  Looking positive will help you sound positive.  Dress as if you were going to the interview in person. Try to smile.  The person on the other end of the phone can "hear" a smile. If you can find a picture of the interviewer, set it in front of you and talk to the person.


    Behavior Based

    Involves questions that require you to replay specific actions you took to solve a problem, complete a project, or otherwise do your job.  It goes to a deeper level than most interview techniques by forcing you to give details.  They want to know specifically what role you played.  Use the word "I" in this interview.



    Seeks specific information about actions taken to solve a problem or complete a project.  It is based on the hypothetical situation.


    Large Group Mingler

    Employers watch the interaction.  Who are the leaders/followers? Who is assertive? Who has strong interpersonal skills? Who are the others drawn to?


    Several Rounds of Interviews

    Initial meeting may be in a hotel or some public location.  Candidates are given a screening assessment.  They talk with you briefly and determine if they would send you on to their supervisor.  Do you think they're going to be selective in who they refer on?  Of course - it's their reputation and job promotion on the line.  They don't want their

    up-line supervisor wasting time on a loser.  The next interview may be one-on-one or with a group of employers.  A part of the interview may also include spending a day with an employee.  Each round you progress through is good news!


    One-on-One Interview

    It's you and the employer.  You may have multiple one-on-one interviews during the process with a potential colleague, the supervisor, the company president, etc.


    Group Interview

    It's you and two or more representatives of the company.  Every person of the interview committee may ask you questions or one person may ask all the questions.  You should include the entire committee as you answer questions by looking at all the interviewers as opposed to just focusing on one person.


    Additional Websites with information on one person.


    One Wire