Interview procedures vary from employer to employer; the guidelines below should help navigate most interview situations. 

Preparing for the Interview

  • Research the organization’s mission, products, services and it major competitors
  • Take several copies of your resume to the interview
  • Prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview
  • Clean and press clothes the night before the interview
  • See our Dress for Success guide and Pinterest Board for information on interview attire

The Day of the Interview

  • Arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled time
  • Handshakes should be firm, but not too tight

During the Interview

  • Follow the interviewers lead and listen carefully. You can often learn what they are looking for just by listening to what they say.
  • Be yourself! It is important that you and the company are a good fit
  • Turn off your cell phone!!
  • Maintain good posture and eye contact as well as good grammar
  • Be enthusiastic and focus on the positive, but don’t exaggerate or lie

Telephone Interviews

  • Your attitude and confidence will come through even over the phone
  • Have your resume and the job description nearby for reference
  • Use a landline whenever possible or be sure you are in an area with reliable cellular reception
  • Arrange a space that is quiet where you will not be interrupted

Interview Dont's

  • Never ask about salary during an interview
  • Never speak negatively about a former employer, colleague or organization
  • Never place anything on the interviewer's desk
  • Never interrupt the interviewer

Interview Questions

Types of interview questions:

  • Direct – have a specific answer, usually a one or two lined answer
  • Open Ended – do not have a specific answer, usually allow for an opportunity to expand on something and show communication skills
  • Behavioral – ask about a how you handled a situation in the past

Traditional Interview Questions

Behavioral Interview Questions

Personal or inappropriate questions – Sometimes interviewers are not aware of what they can or cannot ask in an interview. Prepare yourself to handle this kind of situation calmly. If you are asked a question you do not want to answer, you may want to try to focus on what their concern is behind the question.

After the interview

Always send a thank you note after an interview with whom you met. Before you leave the site, be sure you have the names (and proper spelling). Often a receptionist can assist you with this.  Please see our Letter Guide for more information and examples.

Interviews with a meal

Occasionally, you may be asked to interview or meet over a meal. Be sure to review our Dining Etiquette guide for tips.