Interview Prep. 

Well, you have been offered a chance to interview for a job congratulations! Your application, cover letter, and resume have gained the interest of the organization, and they believe you can perform the job.  An interview is a chance for an organization to learn more about you, particularly regarding your education/training, experience, skills, and interest in the position. Remember interviewing is a two-way street. This is your opportunity to see if the company aligns with your goals, values, and interest. 

Review the information and resources to help you prepare for your interview, from commonly asked questions to strategies for success.

If you need additional help with preparing for an interview, click Contact Us to set up a time with a career advisor for a mock interview. 

Stages of the Interview: 

  1. The Contact – Most interviews begin with a phone call or email to set up a meeting. When you are in the job search process, it is important to communicate professionally when being contacted by an employer.
    1. Phone calls: Answer professional a “Hello, this is _ _,” engage in conversation, and close the conversation with “Thank you for inviting me to interview; I look forward to meeting with you.”
    2. You must acquire the answers to the following questions during the phone call.
      1. What is the date, time, and location of the interview?
      2. Who will I be meeting during the interview?
      3. Are there any items I need to bring or present at this interview?
      4. Who is the contact for the interview committee? (this person is who candidates can contact before the interview for additional questions or emergencies)
  2. 1st Interview – This is a meeting between the job candidate and the interviewer or the interview committee. This meeting is to assess the candidate’s ability to perform the job. At this time, you may be asked questions related to your experience, qualifications, and skills. Interviews can be conducted over the phone, in person, and virtually. At this level in your career, be prepared to attend two or three round interview sessions before a final hiring decision is made. 
  3. 2nd Interview – You passed the 1st interview. This meeting will discuss your abilities to perform in the role more in-depth.  This meeting allows you to meet with different department heads and tour facilities. 
  4. 3rd Interview – This interview is to make the final decision. The candidate will gain more knowledge about the company, and operations, allowing the candidate to communicate ideas and meet coworkers. 
  5. The Decision – Final stage of the interview process. The company wants to hire the candidate and offers a job contingent on background and reference checks. 

For more information regarding websites to polish your interview skills visit our intranet resources page. 

Type of Interviews: 

  • Phone – This 30 – 45 minute phone conference is used to screen candidates. 
  • In-Person – A meeting with the candidate and interviewer or with the interview committee to discuss your credentials and interest in the position. 
  • Virtual – this type of interview is not in-person; the format is the same and uses video conferencing software. 

Interview Preparation Tips 

  • Smile when communicating
  • Respond to calls or texts within 24 hours 
  • Check the environment for background noise before taking calls from employers
  • When communicating by email, proof your email before sending 
  • Know your schedule of availability 
  • Give yourself a minimum of 3 days to prepare for the interview. 
  • Research company and interview committee 
  • Practice your elevator pitch
  • Think about scenarios to help you answer behavior-style questions
  • Prepare your interview question to ask interviewers 
  • Prepare your interview attire
  • Identify potential references

Interview Tips: 

  • Greet everyone presents in the interview 
  • Introduce yourself 
  • Smile, be polite, and try to relax 
  • Provide an updated copy of your resume 
  • Listen to questions carefully 
  • Answer all questions clearly and concisely
  • Show up 15 minutes early

Video Conference Interview Tips: 

  • Download video conferencing software in advance 
  • Practice using the software 
  • Set the camera to eye level
  • Check your background; what does the background say about you
  • Face natural light source on the camera