Preparing for a Job Interview

A job interview brings you together with a prospective employer to determine if you are a good fit for the job and if the job is a good fit for you. 

To ensure you'll have effective job interviews, you need to take some important steps well ahead of your scheduled meetings:

  • Review any information from the employer and about the company.
  • Prepare questions to ask the employer.
  • Organize your interview materials.
  • Do a practice interview in the Career and Professional Development Center

The following resources can help you get ready for the best interview experience. If you have more questions about interviewing or job search portfolios, the Career and Professional Development Center can help you. Staff can discuss interview tips and conduct a practice interview to help you prepare for actual interviews. 

To schedule an appointment, log into your Handshake account and click on the Appointments link under the Career Center tab. You also can stop in for quick tips during drop-in hours from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. every weekday at the Natali Student Center, Suite 138.

Interviewing Tips

Here are basic guidelines to follow that will help to make your job interviews a positive experience. Remember, you'll gain important experience from every job interview, even if you don't get a job offer.

  • When greeting an interviewer use his or her full name, preceded by Mr. or Ms. or Dr., if appropriate. Be sure to get the right pronunciation of the interviewer's name before you arrive.
  • Bring extra copies of your resume, transcript, references and examples of previous work/projects. Also bring a pen and a notebook.
  • Dress conservatively and avoid extremes. This is not the time to express your individuality. You can demonstrate your uniqueness through conversation.
  • Sit comfortably without slouching and look alert and enthusiastic. Don't fidget.
  • Be sure to It does not look good to ask questions that have already been addressed.
  • Try to get the interviewer to describe the position early in the interview so you can relate your experiences and skills to the job.
  • Be prepared with carefully thought-out questions about the job to ask when the interviewer prompts you for questions.
  • Be professional and focused, yet friendly and personable. Employers will notice when you become disinterested.
  • Feel free to ask for clarification before answering questions.
  • Take time to formulate your answers before you speak. Avoid simple "yes" and "no" answers.
  • Your answers should be between 30 seconds and two minutes long. Avoid long, rambling responses.
  • Keep your discussion of any job or campus experiences on a positive note. Do not speak negatively of past employers.
  • Look for positive aspects or results to communicate, even when asked about weaknesses or negative experiences.
  • Never ask about the salary or the benefits received from the job, unless the hiring manager brings up these topics.
  • Send a thank-you letter within 24 hours of the interview.

Resources and Next Steps

To learn the basics for preparing for interviews, see the Career Resource Handbook. Get tips and other advice on how to write an effective resume.