The interview process is the time in which to sell your brand (yourself) to the company. Obviously the company was interested in you to offer you this opportunity and the interview is used to determine fit. This is why the interview is the single most important aspect of the hiring process. Be sure to do your research on yourself and the company, and practice interviewing so you can make the best impression.
Types of Interviews
- Generally used as a screening tool
- Most frequently used interview, incorporates an individual approach
- Several individuals will interview you at one time
- One individual will interview several people at one time
- Follow-up Interview/On-site Visit
- Often referred to as a second interview or on-site visit
- Research the organization-products and services, number of employees, culture and dress code, historic milestones, etc.
- Review the job description
- Review your resume
- Be able to describe at least three situations that demonstrate your skills
- Verbally practice the most common interview questions
- Prepare several intelligent questions to ask the interviewer
- Try on your interview clothes
- Travel to the interview site to become acquainted with the location
The Career Center can help you prepare for your upcoming interview. Schedule a Mock Interview with one of our trained student interviewers or schedule a SCORE/Alumni Mock Interview.
Dress for Success
- No fragrance
- Shined shoes
- Groomed hair
- Dress above requirements
- Cover tattoos
- No obvious piercings
- Suit & hosiery (navy, grey, black)
- Hair away from face
- Minimal jewelry
- Closed-toe shoes
- Natural make-up
- Matched suit (navy, grey, black)
- Dress socks (cover legs)
- Only wedding ring or watch
- Traditional silk ties
Typical Interview Format
- Introductions/small talk
- Content questioning
- Information from Interviewer
- Ask your questions
- Closing the interview
During the Interview
- Take your resume, cover letter, letters of reference, pen, portfolio/padfolio, writing samples (if relevant), and note pad
- Practice your 30 Second Commercial to answer the “Tell me about yourself” question
- Before formulating an answer, remember the Three P’s:
- Ponder–determine what skill, trait, value, or ability is being measured in the question asked
- Prove–give clear and specific examples for every statement you make
- Project–project a positive image even when the questioning is negative
- Communicate the transferable skills learned in previous experiences. You must connect your involvement in an activity with what lessons and skills you took away from it.
- Be prepared for Behavioral Interview questions–these require specific examples to illustrate the characteristic you’re being asked about. Utilize the STAR Method to answer these questions:
- Always have questions for the interviewer. This demonstrates your interest in the position or company. Ask questions related to the hiring process, questions for the interviewer on his/her experiences with the company, etc. This is NOT a time to ask about salary and benefits.
After the Interview
- Send a thank-you note to the interviewer(s) within 24 hours of your interview. Emailed letters may be appropriate in instances with short timeframes
- Consider sending thank you notes to people you met throughout the day but who did not interview you
- This can make the difference between two really similar candidates
The Career Center sells a variety of thank you cards in its office for 50¢ to assist you with this important process.
Some interviews include a meal as part of the itinerary. Even though you are dining, you will still be evaluated. To learn what not to do at these functions, register for the Etiquette Dinner where you will get helpful tips, stories, and a four-course meal for a nominal fee.