8 Steps to a Successful Interview

The Career & Internship Fair is tomorrow!  Be prepared for the interviews that result from your connections at the Fair.

1.       Research

a.       Employer website, news feeds, talk to alumni or others who already work there

b.      Dissect the job description. Responsibilities and qualifications are clues to possible interview questions

c.       Know what’s happening in the industry

2.       Practice Common Interview Questions

a.      What skills and strengths do you have that relates to the position?

b.      Tell me about yourself: Don’t repeat your resume, talk about what motivates you, how you became interested in the field, what you bring and why you are excited about the position.

3.       Prepare Questions for the Interviewer – Prepare and bring with you several questions

a.      How would you describe the work environment?

b.      Why is this position open?

c.       What are some of the accomplishments your organization/department is most proud of in the past year?

d.      What challenges is your organization/department currently facing?

e.      What are the next steps in the process and when can I expect to hear from you?

4.       Dress Appropriately & Be Mindful of Body Language

a.       For men a suit and tie and for women a suit or a dress with a jacket. For a more casual organization slacks/nice shirt or skirt may be appropriate. To determine what is right for the culture, you can ask the person scheduling
the interview.  Organizations in the United States expect a firm handshake and eye contact.

5.       Prepare for Behavior-Based Interview Questions—Past behaviors predict future behaviors

a.       To respond to these questions, use the STAR format:

S/T Describe the situation or the task

A Tell about the action you took

R Explain the result or outcome quantifying when possible

b.       Behavioral Questions:

1- Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.

2- Summarize a situation where you took the initiative to get others going on an important issue, and played a leading role to achieve the results wanted.

3- What was the most complex assignment you have had? What was your role?

4- Give an example of a time when you used good judgment in solving a problem.

5- Describe a situation that required a number of things to be done at the same time.

6- Describe how you determine priorities in scheduling your time.

7- Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. Why was this person difficult? How did you handle that person?

6.       Bring Copies of Your Resume—Bring your resume in a padfolio

7.       Close the Interview:  When it gets to the end of the interview don’t just say thank you!

a.       Let them know that you are excited about the opportunity and review why you are a good fit. For example: “Before we finish, I would like to thank you and let you know that I am very excited about this opportunity!  My
education and previous internship in marketing make me a good fit and I look forward to hearing from you!”

8.       After the Interview

a.       Email or write a targeted thank you within 24 hours of the interview.

For additional sample questions and tips, see Mastering the Interview

Mary MichaelMary Michael has worked in the Career Center for 20 years holding several positions including the Director for the past 12 years, Internship Director and Career Advisor for Daniels undergrads.  Mary Michael has helped thousands of traditional and non-traditional students and alumni to seek out their passions, strengths and resources to help her clients manage their careers throughout their lifespan.



Editor: Maria Kuntz

By Mary Michael Hawkins
Mary Michael Hawkins Senior Director, Undergraduate Career & Professional Development