Step 1: Research the organization

What are its strengths? What type of company culture do they have? How does the position fit into the structure of the organization? Why are you a great match?

Step 2: Develop a list of questions to ask the interviewer(s)

You will be asked if you have any questions and if you don't have some prepared, it may indicate you haven't thought much about the opportunity. Questions demonstrate your interest in the organization. Some examples of thoughtful questions are:

  • Can you describe the orientation or training period?
  • How is this position supervised? Is there a particular person assigned as a mentor or supervisor? How is performance evaluated?
  • What do you personally like best about the organization? 
  • What are the biggest issues or challenges facing this organization? What are the strengths or greatest assets of the organization?
  • What projects are currently in progress now?
  • What qualities does your ideal candidate have?
  • What are the long-range goals of the organization?
  • What is the next step in the hiring process?
  • When do you expect to make a hiring decision?

Step 3: Plan your trip

Know how long it takes to get to the interview location. Figure out directions and parking or public transportation ahead of time. Make sure you have cash for meters or fare.

What to bring to the interview:

  • Enthusiasm and a good attitude
  • Extra copies of your resume and transcript (official & unofficial/AccessPlus)
  • A professional pen and notepad in a padfolio or folder
  • Key questions you want to ask
  • Your reference list (printed on paper that matches your resume)
  • Dates of employment and social security number (for filling out an application)
  • A portfolio or appropriate project documentation, if applicable

*If it is necessary for you to miss classes because of interview trips, be sure to notify your instructors prior to leaving.

Step 4: Plan your outfit

Make sure whatever you are planning to wear is clean and ready in advance. You want to make a positive first impression. Check out our apparel guidelines for ideas.

Step 5: Practice

Prepare strategic answers to potential interview questions ahead of time to best showcase your skills. Think of things that you want the interviewer to know about you and plan how you may be able to work them into responses. Review the job description and your resume. Consider scheduling a mock interview with our office to get feedback. 

Step 6: Review interview best practices

The interviewer is appraising your thinking ability, how you solve problems, and your communication skills. They want to determine if you are a good fit for their organization and if you have the necessary qualifications for the position.

  • Arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Enter the interviewing room with a smile, self-confidence, and a firm handshake.
  • Let the interviewer offer the lead.
  • Listen to questions and remember that the interviewer is interested in complete answers and examples. Use the S.T.A.R. approach.
  • It's fine to ask that a question be repeated and it's acceptable to think before responding.
  • Avoid speaking negatively about past organizations, team members, or supervisors.

Virtual interviews

Review the list of tips for virtual interviews and consider practicing using Big Interview.