We can help you prepare for your interview process. We’ve gathered some information to get you started, including sample questions and a link to a virtual interview practice session that you won’t want to miss.
Before the Interview
Research the organization so you can ask intelligent questions and show why you are interested in and qualified for the position. Visit their website and study their corporate history, philosophy, vision and mission statements and product line(s), if applicable.
It is also an excellent practice to engage in a mock interview session that can help you confidently answer and anticipate possible questions. This practice can give you poise and self-assurance in answering often complex and difficult questions. It can also prepare you with appropriate responses to inappropriate questions, should they arise.
Select clear examples of your experiences and accomplishments that relate to the tasks or skills necessary for the position. In response to questions like “Have you ever…” or “Tell me about a time when you…”, try the STAR method, in which you describe:
- The situation
- Your task
- Your actions
- The results
InterviewStream gives you access to various resources that assist you with your interviewing development and gives you the ability to conduct mock interviews in a stress-free environment.
On the Day of the Interview
Arrive 10 minutes early. Be very polite to office staff. Offer a steady handshake and maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Find out how the interviewer prefers to be addressed. Do not use first names unless invited to.
Avoid eating, drinking, chewing gum or smoking—even when offered—as it may be distracting. Do not place anything on the interviewer’s desk. Ask for a business card to facilitate sending a thank you letter. Sit comfortably and avoid nervous habits. Speak distinctly and use proper business English. Smile and laugh when appropriate. Appear interested, motivated and ambitious, with a genuine desire for the specific position. Show enthusiasm and sell yourself by discussing your accomplishments through specific examples that are relevant to the employer’s needs.
Listen to the interviewer(s) and don’t monopolize the conversation. Be sure to answer the entire question that has been asked. Don’t be afraid of a little silence as you collect your thoughts. Be prepared with questions for the interviewer. Be sure you have a complete picture of what you would actually be doing if hired. As you conclude, express appreciation for the interview and reiterate your interest in the position. Inquire as to what happens next, so you know when and if you will be contacted.
After the Interview
Evaluate the experience. Jot down anything you might want to remember for the next interview at this organization or another. Within 48 hours, send a brief thank you letter, including any additional information the interviewer might have requested. Reiterate your interest in the position or organization and mention anything important that you forgot to say in the interview. Thank the interviewer for his or her time and courtesy. Send a letter to the person who invited you to the interview, as well as the person who has the power to hire and supervise you. You may also mention the name(s) of others involved in the interview and thank them as well.
The letter can be brief—about three short paragraphs—and should never exceed one page. Remember the real purpose of the letter is to sincerely express your appreciation for the interviewer’s time, as well as to confirm your interest in the position available. Always close the letter with some reference to future contact. The letter should use a business format, be typewritten on good-quality bond paper and be free of errors.
If you are not certain that you should accept an offer, express interest and appreciation, find out the salary and other compensation, and ask for time to consider the offer and develop any further questions you may have. It is best to discuss your hesitations with an adviser, mentor or career counselor.