Interview Skills & Tips
An interview is a time to identify which candidate is the best fit for a job, internship, or academic program.
Where are you right now?
What relevant experiences have you had? (Education, jobs, leadership roles, volunteer positions)
Why are you excited for this opportunity? (Goals, passions, learning opportunities)
How to prepare for the interview
DO YOUR RESEARCH!
- Know about the company, organization, or academic program
Pro tip: try to connect your goals with the organizations mission or vision
- Familiarize yourself with the position and its job description
Pro tip: know what makes this specific position unique
- Be familiar with current trends in that field
Pro tip: be able to identify industry trends from the last five years
- What are your strengths, skills, and experiences? How do they fit with this new position?
Pro tip: pick out the top three qualities you would bring to the position
- What do you need to improve upon?
Pro tip: highlight how you have continuously worked on this growth area
- What makes you a unique candidate?
Pro tip: why would you hire YOU?
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
- Write out answers for commonly asked interview questions
Pro tip: read your answers out loud as you write to help commit it to memory
- Practice in front of a mirror or a friend
Pro tip: challenge yourself with verbal & non-verbal communication
What Makes an Impression
You do not have to answer questions regarding age, sex, race, national origin, or marital status.
Helpful Tips & Reminders
- Remember to arrive early and be polite to everyone you come into contact with
- Make a good first impression- say your full name and give firm handshakes when introducing yourself
- Be engaged – show enthusiasm and interest in the company, industry, and position
- Know how to talk about your areas for professional improvement without seeming negative
- Ask questions – this helps to show your interest and you can learn more about the company
- Be articulate when describing how/why you are the best fit
AFTER THE INTERVIEW – KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING
Follow up with a Thank You note within 24-48 hours
Helpful Tips & Reminders
- Show your interest: highlight why you’re a good fit for the position
- Personalize it: talk about something specific from the interview
- Be mindful of timing: send out notes
- Be positive and non-intrusive
5 Biggest Interview Mistakes
- Arriving late for the interview
- Leaving your cell phone on
- Not preparing for the interview
- Talking about your weakness as a failure
- Criticizing a previous employee
DRESS FOR SUCCESS!
- Pay attention to colors, styles, and finished looked
- Avoid attire that might be distracting (you want to focus on you not your clothes!)
- Business professional attire usually includes a blazer
What to Expect During the Interview
TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
- Resume-related (questions to learn about your experiences, skills, and training)
- Behavioral based (questions to understand how you respond to situations)
- Case studies (scenario-based questions to understand your behaviors and decision-making process)
- Brain teasers (questions to identify your critical thinking skills)
The STAR Technique for Interview Questions
- Situation Provide context. Detail the background. Where? When?
- Task Describe the change and expectations. What was needed? Why?
- Action Elaborate on your specific action. What did you do? How? What tools did you use?
- Results Explain the results: accomplishments, recognition, savings, etc. Quantify.