Interview Tips

Current Opportunities

Career Guidance
Interview Tips
Prepare Well for the Interview
The Day of the Interview
Interviewing Techniques
Do’s and Dont’s
Difficult Situations
After the Interview

Profile the Company

  • Research the company thoroughly
  • Where do you fit in?
  • Tailor your skills to company’s needs
  • Information you uncover reflects your interest and enthusiasm in position
  • Establishes a common base of knowledge for questions

Research the Company

  • Know the language of the industry
  • Know the job duties
  • Know the company
  • Ask questions of a similar company

What Do You Need To Know?

  • Age of company
  • Services or products
  • Competitors within the industry
  • Growth pattern
  • Reputation
  • Divisions and subsidiaries
  • Locations/length of time there
  • Size
  • Number of employees
  • Sales/assets/earnings
  • New products or projects
  • Culture and values

Where Do I Find The Information About Companies?

  • Internet
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Trade Associations
  • Alumni in the companies

Develop Career Goals

  • Have a focus--at least act like it, even if you don’t have a clue
  • Identify challenges you are looking for
  • Know what you want to accomplish
  • Have a plan or agenda

Write Down Answers/Scenarios

  • Draft written answers to potential interview questions
  • Develop job appropriate scenarios based on your research
    – A marketing plan for a new product
    – A solution to one of their problems

Write Down Your Strengths

  • Relate them to the job
  • Give examples of where you have demonstrated these
  • How were they developed
  • Identify your mentors and/or role models

Write Down Your Areas for Improvement

  • Relate these to your work
  • Show the positive side of these
  • Identify the steps you have taken for improvement
  • Detail the results and/or time frames expected
  • Identify criticism you have received and its effects

Write Out Questions for the Interviewer

  • Consider multiple areas
    – Corporate values
    – Anticipated responsibilities
    – Employment trends
    – Measures of work performance
    – Work environment
    – Quality of work
    – Personality factors
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry and company

Frequently Asked Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • Why are you interested in our organization?
  • What goals have you set for yourself and How do you plan to achieve it same.
  • Tell me how do you perceive your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How do you evaluate yourself?
  • What work experience has been most valuable to you and why?
  • What has been your greatest challenge?
  • What was to most useful criticism you received and who was it from?
  • Give me an example of a problem you solved and the process you used?
  • Give example of your team player activities?
  • How to you motivate people?
  • Tell me about a difficult situation that you face and how did you deal with it?
  • What interests or concerns you about the position or the company?
  • What Two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction?
  • What characteristics do you think are important for this position?
  • What are your expectations from your future employer?
  • Why should we hire you?

Acknowledge Your Nervousness

  • Train your butterflies to fly in formation
  • Advance preparation reduces nervousness
  • Practice answering the worst possible question they could ask
    o Ask permission to take notes or refer to questions if necessary
    o Relax--take a few deep breaths

Appearance Matters. . .A Lot!

    • If you don’t dress seriously, they can’t take you seriously!!
    • Make a good first impression
    • Pride in yourself implies pride in your work
    • Show your creativity in your work, not your appearance
    • Dress conservatively
    • Be well groomed and clean

Don’t Forget the Details

  • Nicely styled hair
  • Natural, clean looking face/makeup
  • Clean your fingernails
  • Skip the clunky jewelry
  • Press your clothes
  • Avoid strong perfumes or colognes

Professional Image for Women

  • Best choices
    – Navy or black suit, solid blouse
    – Suit in solid colors, printed blouse
    – Straight dress with jacket, solid colors
  • Wear polished, low heeled shoes
  • Minimal accessories
  • Hosiery - appropriate color, no holes, no darker than your hem
  • Don’t wear anything too tight or revealing

Professional Image for Men

  • Best choices
    – Business suit, dark colors (blues, grays, browns), white shirt
    – Suit with solid shirt
    – 2-piece suit, lighter colors, striped shirt
  • Button your jacket when you stand
  • Shine your shoes
  • Socks-appropriate color, no holes, long length
  • Avoid cigarettes


  • It separates winners from losers
  • Be enthusiastic and eager
  • Practice good eye contact
  • Smile
  • Walk with confidence
  • Sit up straight (listen to your mother!)
  • Adapt to your surroundings

Employers Notice Good Manners

  • Be on time for the interview
  • Treat the receptionist with respect
  • Use Mr. or Ms. unless they ask you to use first names
  • Don’t sit until you’re invited to

Practice Your “Soft Skills”

  • Greet people with a firm handshake
  • Stand up to meet people
  • Keep your guard up during lunch or dinner
  • Practice your dining etiquette
  • Remember “please” and “thank you”
  • Be good at chatting and small talk

What to Bring to an Interview

  • Several copies of your resume
  • Your portfolio, if applicable
  • New notebook and a nice pen
  • Briefcase or leather folder
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of references

Put Yourself in the Interviewer’s Shoes

  • They have an agenda
    – To determine if you have the skills
    – Identify your personal attributes
    – Assess your motivation

Interviewers Are Looking to Hire You

  • Help them by
    – Showing how you fit their company
    – Exhibit your personality
    – Share your career goals


  • DO NOT lie on your resume
  • DO NOT lie in the interview
  • Either of these can get you eliminated from consideration or FIRED if discovered after hiring

What Do Winners Show

  • They are capable of doing the job or learning it quickly
  • They are willing and eager to do the job
  • They need little motivation or supervision
  • They are friendly and would work well with other employees

Use Proper Language

  • Speak clearly and distinctly
  • Avoid slang expressions
  • Don’t swear
  • Control your
    – “ums”
    – “you knows”
    – “likes”
    – “that kinda stuff”

Tell Me About Yourself

    Create a 60-second sound byte
  • Geographic origins
  • Reason for choosing major
  • Educational background
  • 2 or 3 strengths related to position
  • Specific expertise and accomplishments
  • How you can contribute to company
  • Identify your career goals
  • Speak clearly and honestly

    Behavior Based Interviewing
  • Previous behavior predicts future behavior
  • Examples show the meaning you have made of education and experience
  • Provides insight on how the candidate’s mind works

Answer Questions with a STAR Approach

  • S ituation
  • T ask
  • A ction
  • R esults

  • Give the situation for your answer
  • Choose a professional example from your job experience, course work, volunteer work, or student activities
  • Set the stage so the interviewer can relate to your answer

  • Tell what the task was at hand
  • Dwell on the positive, don’t blame or point fingers elsewhere

  • Describe the action you took to resolve the problem or bring about the success
  • Explain your role in the action
  • Identify specific skills you used
  • Explain the results
  • Provide details, dollar amounts, success
  • Apply these results to the position for which you’re applying
    STAR Provides an Outline
  • Helps you answer completely so you give enough information
  • Lets you know when to stop so you don’t ramble
  • Allows the interviewer to see you as a problem solver and decision maker


  • Research the company
  • Prepare for tough questions
  • Greet interviewer enthusiastically
  • Focus on what you have to offer, not what you want
  • Know your rights as an interviewee
  • Have a good attitude, be positive
  • Show confidence
  • Be professional
  • Follow up with a note or phone call


  • Don’t discuss salary, benefits, or vacations until an offer is made
  • Don’t display personal habits, i.e. smoking, chewing gum, tapping a pencil, stretching, jiggling a foot
  • Don’t lie
  • Don’t get too chatty about non-job topics
  • Don’t blame others or disparage employers

Listen Carefully

  • It’s important to understand the questions correctly
  • Ask for clarification
  • Don’t be afraid to ask if you can take a few seconds to think about your answer

Telephone Interviews

  • Dress up and use a professional environment to maintain your professionalism
  • Have your notes organized, highlighted, and within easy access
  • Without non-verbal communication, be aware that it is difficult to “read” the interviewer
  • Make sure your voice conveys enthusiasm
  • If more than one person on the other end, have them identify themselves when asking their questions

Panel Interviews

  • Get names and positions for all participants in advance if possible
  • Address all with good eye contact
  • Relate your answers to others that were similar from other participants
  • Shows your ability to relate to diverse groups

Day Long Interviews

  • Keep your energy up
  • Continue to give complete answers to all questions even though you’ve been asked multiple times that day
  • Listen for consistencies and discrepancies to assess company culture

Details Needed for Follow-up

  • Write down the interviewer’s name, department, address, and phone in the notebook
  • Ask for their business card
  • Use interviewer’s name

Follow-up the Interview

  • Send a short thank you note within 24 hours
  • Remind them of key points from the interview
  • Emphasize your interest
  • State when you expect the next contact to be


  • How did you do overall?
  • What were your strengths?
  • What needs improvement?
  • Develop a follow-up chart for tracking