Return to Campus

Back to Top

Interviewing

interviewAn interview is your opportunity to convince a potential employer that you are the right person for the position you want!

Below are some helpful tips on what to do before, during, and after your interview.

Additionally, career coaches are available to facilitate mock interviews so you can flex your interviewing muscles. Schedule your mock interview today!

Know yourself

Being able to discuss your career goals, skills, strengths, and accomplishments is an important component of successful interviewing. Prepare specific examples of your experiences that demonstrate how your background, skills, and interests match the organization’s needs.

If you want to explore more language on how to articulate your skills and experiences, consider taking the Focus2 Assessment or Myers Briggs Type Indicator. These are helpful tools for learning more about your interests and how they connect to future work.

Research the employer

In addition to reviewing the employer’s website, useful information can be found by searching recent news and articles of the organization on sites like LinkedInGlassdoorCareerOneStopGoogle News, or the organization's Social Media site. Knowing the employer thoroughly will help set you apart during the interview process.

Practice your interview skills

Like any good athlete, you need to practice before going into the game! Let your career coach assist you in making a strategic game plan for acing your interview and landing the job. Schedule a Mock Interview Handshake to practice before your real interview to boost your confidence.

Arrive early.

Arrive 10-15 minutes early.

Dress Appropriately.

Research the company culture and dress accordingly.

Body Language.

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.

Listen.

Try to ascertain why particular questions are being asked before responding. If needed, ask for clarification.

Answer questions.

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.

Ask questions to show that you have researched the organization and have a willingness to learn more about it. Here are some sample questions to ask employers at an interview.

Be enthusiastic!

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!

More than half of employers now use video or phone interviewing as one of their recruiting tools. In many ways, you’ll prepare for these virtual interviews—and perform in them—just as you would for a face-to-face interview.

What is Virtual Interviewing?
It's essentially an interview that is not in-person and done in an online format. An interview with an employer for example could be live on the phone or on a screen. Recording your responses to a set of questions delivered asynchronously via computer is another form of virtual interviewing.

The purpose of a virtual interview is the same as an in-person interview, and you want to make sure your best self shines through!

Here are five tips to help you excel in your virtual interview.

1. Clarify Logistics

It's okay to do so! This information is likely to be shared when you are invited for an interview, but in case it isn’t, do clarify logistics by asking what you can expect. For instance, will the employer be contacting you via phone or via video conferencing software? (Clarify who will be contacting who.) How long is the interview? With whom will the interview be? What can you expect during the virtual interview?

2. Check Your Tech and Environment

Before and during the interview, make sure your technology works - internet connection and phone reception. We recommend using your headphones. Next, think about where you will interview. Arrange a space that is comfortable, has little to no distractions, and offers good lighting. Lastly, communication is key. At the start of the interview, check-in about how communication is going for you and the employer (i.e audio, connection, volume). This is also a good time to discuss a back up plan in case technical issues come up. Provide the employer with a number to best reach you.

3. Prepare Yourself

Just as you would for an in-person interview. Here’s what you can prepare.

Your Self-Introduction
Two of the commonly asked questions in an interview, that will likely be asked during a virtual interview are “tell us about yourself” and “why are you interested in the position/organization?”. Learn more on how to prepare your self-introduction/elevator pitch here on our YouTube Channel.

Prepare Questions
To guide you as to what to ask, think about what would be most helpful for you to know about the position and organization to assess your interest.

STAR Method
The STAR method stands for Situation-Task-Action-Result. It is a great interview strategy to communicate your Core Career Competencies and will come in handy during a virtual interview!

4. Do Your Research

Yes, it’s important to know a thing or two about the employer. Research basic information like the size of the organization, general history, mission, types of opportunities available, product(s), target market(s), and competitors. This will make it easier for you to talk to (and impress) representatives from these organizations.

Where to start?
Social media platforms, company website, LinkedIn, Google, and Glassdoor

5. Dress the Part

Yes, even if you're not meeting in person. Make every effort count. It's also confidence boosting! You want to dress wisely, in a way that makes sense for both the job/employer itself as well as for your own personal identity. Experiment a bit beforehand, with the help of a friend, to get a sense of how you look best on camera.

Friendly Reminders

  • Avoid distractions
  • Silence your phone if you are in a video call
  • Let your housemates know-do not disturb
  • Take notes before and during the interview
  • It's okay to ask for a question to be repeated

Follow up

Always take the time to send a thank you letter or email! Best to send within 24 hours of the interview. Here is some sample language for a post-interview thank you.