Interviewing

Interviews are all about fit. If an employer calls you for an interview, he or she already knows you’re qualified – now they want to make sure your personality fits their culture. The interview also clarifies the skills and experiences listed on a resume.

Interview preparation is key to a successful interview. Sign up for practice interviews with employers or career counselors.

How to prepare for an interview

As you prepare for your interview, practice with potential interview questions. The 50 tough interview questions handout (PDF), our interview handout (PDF), and the Interview Survival Kit, which you can get from a Career Counselor will help you practice.

As you think about your answer, always come up with at least one concrete example from past experiences. Tell a story as you answer and relate that experience to something you can do for the company.

Use the STAR technique

To tell your story, use the STAR technique:

Situation
Task
Action
Result

STAR responses let you tell a story and explain how you accomplished something. This technique is used to answer behavioral questions.

As you answer the question “tell me about yourself,” use your elevator pitch and finish with how YOU are the right fit for the company.

Research the company before your interview

While you prepare your answers, be sure to research the company, the job description, and the company’s competitors. Read news articles, websites, and anything you can find to learn everything possible about the company. Then, come up with 3-10 good questions for them. Your questions should demonstrate your research, your skills, and your interest.

Check out Glass Door to read about possible interview questions and prepare a salary estimate.

How to impress

Dress professionally, arrive early, bring copies of your resume in your padfolio, and do your best. Check out other parts of this website, or make an appointment to talk to a Career Counselor about interviews, questions, dress, and thank you notes.

Be sure to follow up

After your interview, write handwritten thank you notes to everyone you interviewed with. Reiterate your skills and fit and thank the interviewers for their time. Put the notes in the mail the same day. The next day, write thank you emails, reminding the interviewers of an interesting discussion, your strengths, and why you’re the best fit for the position. For more information, check out our thank you note handout (PDF).