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The interview is a critical aspect of your job search. For you to land the job you must convince the employer that you’re the right person for the job. For assistance in developing your skills use the following interview guidelines, tips, and suggestions.


Before the Interview
  • Start preparing for interviews long before you actually have one scheduled. Schedule an appointment with a career services staff member for a Mock Interview. Practice makes perfect!
  • Know yourself and be able to articulate your skills, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, values, current career and educational goals
  • Know the employer and be able to articulate research about their products, services, operations and competitors. On-line home pages and newsletters are good references.
  • Review Interview Questions & Answers and prepare and practice your answers.
  • Prepare and layout your clothing and attire the night before the interview. Make sure your clothes are wrinkle free with a nice crisp look, shoes are polished and you are well groomed.
  • Get directions to your interviewing location prior to the day of the interview - allow yourself plenty of time for traffic, parking, and a bathroom break, that will allow you to arrive at your exact destination 10 minutes ahead of time.
  • Prepare additional copies of your resume, references and transcripts in the event there are several interviewers. Also, it would be helpful to know ahead of time if it is a group or individual interview.
  • Do not take a cell phone and/or pager to the interview. Make whatever necessary arrangements so that you are not disturbed during the interview.

During the Interview

Presentation – You only get one chance to make a first impression – make it professional.


  • The first line person, whether it is the receptionist, or the administrative assistant, treat them with as much respect as the interviewer.
  • Display confidence with a firm handshake, eye contact, and listen attentively.
  • Show enthusiasm
  • Have a positive attitude
As you engage in your conversation with the interviewer, remember that this is a two way street; you are interviewing the interviewer, as well as being interviewed.


  • Allow the interviewer to lead and guide the interview.
  • Listen carefully to the questions and answer each question thoroughly. (See Interview Questions & Answers).
  • Ask questions - learn as much as you can about the position before hand. However, management style is usually information you can find out during the interview. You want to determine if this is truly a place you would like to work (this is information that is not found on the Internet).
Non-verbals Interviews can fail because of lack of communication. Communication is more than just what you say. Non-verbal communication often speaks louder than verbal communication. Listed below are some important non-verbals.


  • Eye Contact – If you happen to look away while listening, it displays to the interviewer a lack of interest and a short attention span. If you do not maintain eye contact while speaking, it shows a lack of confidence in what you are saying.
  • Facial Expressions – Facial expressions are very important non-verbal cues. Something such as a smile can tell the interviewer that you are a happy person and delighted to be interviewed by the company.
  • Posture – Posture sends out a signal of your confidence and power potential. When you are standing, stand up straight. When you are seated, sit at the front edge of the chair, leaning forward slightly.
  • Gestures – Gestures should be very limited during an interview. When you do use them, make sure they are natural and meaningful.
  • Space – Recognize the boundaries of your personal space and that of others. Most Americans have a personal space of about 30 to 36 inches.

Wrapping up the interview

  • Get a business card from the interviewer(s)
  • Find out about the next step of the interview process
  • Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. Let them know that you look forward to hearing from them.

After the Interview

Though you have completed the interview the process is not over. You want to leave a lasting impression on the interviewer. Listed below are things that will help you to stand out once the interview is complete.

  • Send a thank you note to the interviewer and any others that assisted you during this process (administrative assistance, receptionist, etc.)
  • The note should be brief, however, it should be a reminder of why you would be the best possible candidate for the job.Evaluate the interview. What went well for you? What questions were asked that you wished you would have had more practice or a better answer?
  • In the event of a second interview or an interview with another company you will be better prepared.

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