Interview Basics

Prior to Interview

  • Confirm the interview time, place, and with whom you will be meeting (including their titles). Be sure to print out directions or addresses if using a GPS and know where guest parking is located. Ask if there is a fee for parking, as is often the case in the city. To totally set yourself at ease, drive to your destination prior to the interview.
  • Ensure your interview attire fits properly and has been freshly washed and ironed.  Plan to bring along extra resumes, letters, work samples, etc. in a "leather like" binder along with a professional pen.
  • Since you never know who might see your car, clean your vehicle inside and out.
  • Conduct research on the company, the industry, and individuals interviewing you.
  • If you haven't done so already, update your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts and review security settings.  Review our frequently asked interview questions.
  • Practice interviewing through InterviewPrep and/or a mock interview with a career advisor in our office.

Day of Interview

  • Arrive about 15 minutes early so you are not rushed and have time to compose yourself. 
  • Be sure to show respect and courtesy to ALL employees at the company as they may be asked to provide input about you. 
  • Remember to relax, be yourself, and do lots of active listening. 
  • When sitting in the waiting room, avoid texting or talking on your cell phone.  It is best to turn off your cell phone completely.

During Interview

  • Introductions and handshakes, dress, eye contact, enthusiasm and that initial small talk with the recruiter all help to create that first impression of you as a potential hire.  Be assertive and SELL YOURSELF from start to finish!
  • Don't sit down until asked to do so.  Watch your posture to ensure that it is not too relaxed or tense.  It's ok to accept water, tea, or coffee if offered.
  • Smile, be attentive and honest, and remember that an interview is a conversation.  Since several candidates may actually be well qualified for the position, many hiring decisions are made based on personality and fit.  
  • Follow the lead of the interviewer, do not interrupt, and be sure that you fully understand the questions asked, and if not, ask for clarification.  If you need to pause to collect your thoughts before answering, don't be afraid to do so. Never say that a question they've asked you is a tough or good question and certainly don't ever say, "I'd like to come back to that question." 
  • Employers like to know that you have done some thinking about your career goals and that their open position and organization fit appropriately into those goals. Your depth of commitment to the career field indicates how long you might stay with the organization and in the available position.
  • Be ready to ask intelligent questions.  If you are targeting more than one type of position or organization, be sure that you focus on career goals compatible with the position for which you are interviewing.