Career Services - Interviewing

INTERVIEWING

The key to succesful interviewing is preparation, professionalism and practice.  Knowing what type of interview helps, too! Interview types include:

  • Phone
  • Video/Skype/Etc.
  • Peer Group
  • In-person
  • Panel Group
  • Practical/Work Sample

Interviewing Tips


How do I prepare for an interview?

  1. Research: Review the company website, talk to connections, review interviewers' LinkedIn profile, etc.
  2. Get organized: Review & bring copies of your application materials (resume, cover letter, references, writing sample, etc.) and the position description.
  3. Practice: Review commonly asked interview questions & field specific interview questions, practice your answers out loud & know your key skills to highlight, practice your elevator speech (a.k.a. answer to tell me about yourself), etc..
  4. Plan ahead:  Pick out your outfit and accessories, confirm time and location, explore transportation & route travel time, plan to arrive 10 - 15 minutes early for a last minute self check.
  5. Send a thank you note:  Ask for business cards at the end of the interview.  Send within the next 24 business hours via email or if there is time a handwritten note stands out!  Not sure what to write? Reveiw these thank you note writing tips.

Interview question types:

  1. Opening—Icebreaker, get to know you
    • Tell me about yourself.  How did you hear about this position?
  2. Credential—Measurement
    • What was your GPA?  How often did you lead campus tours?  How have you used this software?
  3. Experience—Subjectively evaluate answer to transfer skills
    • Can you describe to me your duties as _________?  Do you have any experience managing budgets?
  4. Opinion—How you react
    • What have you learned from your mistakes?  What qualities does a successful supervisor possess?
  5. Company Research—How well you researched
    • Why do you want to work here?  What can you tell me about (company name)?
  6. Creative/Problem Solving –Displays original thought
    • Who has most influenced you in your life?  What superpower would you pick if you could have one?
  7. Behavioral—Your approach
    • Describe a time when you were faced with a challenging situation & how you handled it?  What next steps have you taken when you've made a mistake?
  8. Personal—Your style, work habits, employment history
    • Can you explain the gap in your employment history?  Would you rather work with information or with people?
  9. Closing—Next steps, you can ask questions
    • Can I contact your references?  Do you have any questions for me?
  10. Illegal—Cannot ask about personal life including: Age, Religion, Marital status & children, Veteran’s status, Memberships, Disabilities, Ethnicity, Sex, Financial status, and Criminal history.

Hiring Process:

  1. Timeframe: From interview proces to start date averages between 19 - 43 days.  Total process for the employer averages between 3 - 6 months or longer!
  2. Advertising & Recruiting: Employer post & announces opening on company website and other job sites.  Reaches out to network for referrals.
  3. Candiate Review: Employer reviews and ranks candidates to determine who to ask to interview.
  4. Interviews: Employer conducts one or more rounds of interviews, narrowing it down to top candidates, and invites finalist for in person interviews.
  5. Reference Checks:  Employer checks 2 - 3 references that you provided.
  6. Job offer(s): Employer offers the position to first choice and down the list until a candidate accepts.  Or starts process over for failed search.
  7. You accept the job!  Negotiate your salary, benefits, and start date then email a formal acceptance letter.  Send a resignation letter to your current employer-typically giving a two week minimum notice.
  8. Background checks & new hire paperwork: Typically you will work with Human Resources to complete these forms. 
  9. Start new job! Complete new employee orientation, get your office keys, company email, etc.  Thank your references!