Interview Techniques

What to bring to the interview

  • Multiple copies of your resume and cover letter
  • Reference sheet
  • List of questions to ask the employer
  • Transcripts, portfolio, or any other sample items (if requested)
  • Briefcase or professional folder to carry your documents
  • Calendar or planner (either paper or digital format)
  • Notebooks and pen
  • Direction to the interview and parking fare

Before the interview

Research the company:

  • History, products, services, mission, company culture, competitors, plans for growth, opportunities for advancement
  • Where to research employers: the company/organization website, Career Shift (a tool in SlugQuest accessible on the Career Center homepage), Glassdoor.com, LinkedIn company profiles, company Facebook and/or Twitter profiles

Prepare yourself:

  • Have your interview outfit ready
  • Review the job description
  • Prepare for commonly asked questions
  • Know your strengths, interests and goals
  • Prepare 5 or more success stories
  • Practice aloud with someone
  • Be prepared to discuss how your skills and background will benefit the organization
  • Prepare questions to ask the employer

First impressions

  • Show up clean, well-groomed, hair trimmed
  • Arrive early – 5 to 10 minutes before the interview
  • Be courteous to everyone you meet including receptionists.
  • Greet the employer by name with a firm handshake
  • Show enthusiasm and confidence in your voice and posture
  • Maintain good eye contact
  • Avoid fidgeting
  • Wait to be asked to be seated

During the interview

  • Listen attentively to the questions
  • Ask for clarity if you did not understand the question
  • Use professional language, not slang
  • Use examples, statistics and testimonials to support your claims
  • Don’t talk about a weakness unless specifically asked
  • Speak loudly and clearly
  • Don’t criticize former employers
  • Avoid mentioning personal problems

Concluding the interview and afterwards

  • Ask questions
  • Reaffirm your interest in the position
  • Thank the interview and ask about next steps
  • Ask for a business card and send the employer a thank you email or note
  • Forward any requested materials
  • Follow up if you don’t hear from them in a week

For more interview help attend an Interview Techniques Workshop at the Career Center, participate in a mock interview with a career adviser or watch Career Spots interview videos