An interview is a conversation between you and an employer. It is your opportunity to convince a potential employer that you are the right person for the position.
Preparing for the Interview
Be able to discuss your career goals, skills, strengths, and accomplishments. Prepare specific examples of your experiences that demonstrate how your background, skills, and interests match the organization’s needs.
Research the employer
In addition to reviewing the employer’s website, look for recent news and articles about the organization in other sources such as Hoover’s Online and Business Source Complete, available through the ZSR Library’s online databases. Know the employer’s age, size, products or services, organizational structure, reputation, competitors, divisions and subdivisions, parent company, number of employees, sales, assets, earnings, new products or projects, locations, and accomplishments.
Practice your interview skills
Have a mock interview in the Office of Personal and Career Development and use Interview Stream to practice before your real interview.
During the interview
Arrive 10-15 minutes early.
Offer a firm handshake in greeting and at the close of the interview. Maintain eye contact. Avoid nervous mannerisms, such as fidgeting or touching your hair or face. Don’t cross your arms or hold things in front of your body. Sit up straight. Speak in a strong, confident tone of voice.
Try to ascertain why particular questions are being asked before responding. If needed, ask for clarification.
Employers commonly ask general questions and behavioral questions. When answering these questions, emphasize your strengths, what you have learned from past experience, and how you solved problems in response to challenges.
Ask questions to show that you have researched the organization and have a willingness to learn more about it.
Enthusiasm is the most important part of the interview. Be excited about the opportunity. Speak positively regarding your past work and educational experiences as well as past employers. Smile!
After the interview
Follow-up with a thank you letter.