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Job Interview Preparation

Preparing for an interview primarily means taking time to thoughtfully consider your goals and qualifications relative to the position and employer. Here are some tips to help.

Know Yourself

  • What you want to do and where you want to do it
  • What you have to offer (skills, accomplishments and goals)

Look the Part

  • Conservative, well-tailored look in suit, shoes and accessories
  • Minimal jewelry
  • Well-groomed appearance (hair, nails, etc.)
  • Minimal use of perfume or aftershave

Research the Company

  • Know the exact place and time of the interview, the interviewer's full name, the correct pronunciation and his or her title.
  • Learn pertinent facts about the company such as annual sales revenue, principal lines of business and locations.
  • Information can be found in the Career Center, company literature, Internet, library and faculty/friends.

Asking and Answering Questions

Knowing how you'll answer standard interview questions can give you a great boost of confidence. But don't stop there. When you ask intelligent questions you not only demonstrate your knowledge of the company but it also allows you to discover if this opportunity is right for you. 

Effective Communication Skills

  • What you say (verbal) must match your body language (non-verbal) or people will pay more attention to your body language and not what you are saying.
  • Verbal: clear, concise, relevant responses.
  • Non-verbal: good eye contact, good posture, appropriate facial expressions and hand gestures.

Follow Up After the Interview

  • Send a note of appreciation thanking the employer and restating interest in the company.
  • Complete the thank you note within 24 hours of an interview but no later than a week.
  • Keep your audience in mind. Address their issues and concerns. In general, typed thank you letters are recommended. Consider the "personality" of the organization and the rapport you felt during your interviews. If your interview was a fairly informal process and/or you achieved an immediate rapport with your interviewer, a handwritten note might be fine.

Telephone Interview

  • Maintain a good posture. Your posture reflects your voice. Use a quiet and private room. Noisy or loud areas may not distract you but the interviewer as well.
  • Be prepared to take the telephone interview during the day or evening hours, including weekends. If you can respond quickly, pleasantly and professionally, you will come across as a much stronger candidate who is interested in a position with the organization.
  • Send a thank-you note to reiterate topics discussed in the interview and express your interest in the position.