The interview is an opportunity to demonstrate to an employer your qualifications and to market yourself for a position. The employer is using this opportunity to assess your qualifications and how you will perform in a position – your skills, experience, personal characteristics and career goals are some of the areas that will be considered. It is also an opportunity for you to determine if it is a position you are going to enjoy for a few years. Therefore, taking time to prepare for the interview is necessary.
Tips for the Interview Process
- Research the organization–you will be expected to be able to tell an employer why you want to work for their organization, position(s) you are interested and qualified for, and how your abilities match their needs.
- Professional dress and a neat appearance are essential in creating positive impressions.
- Prepare a few good questions for the interviewer; avoid asking about salary and benefits in the first interview.
- Set an appointment for a mock interview with a Career Development staff member.
- Arrive a few minutes early to give yourself a chance to gain composure during the interview.
- Remember that enthusiasm is a very desirable trait to convey – both verbally and non-verbally.
- Take time to listen to the interviewer’s questions, in order to give an appropriate response.
- Maintain good eye contact with the interviewer and try to be relaxed and confident.
- Respond to questions with positive points. Use every opportunity to market your skills and abilities.
- As the interview ends, reiterate your interest in the position; ask what the next step will be, and when you can expect to hear. Make sure you get the interviewer’s business card.
- Write a thank you note to the interviewer and email or send a typed note by mail. Include any important omissions and reiterate your strengths and enthusiasm for the position. If you have interviewed with several people, you can send a note to the person leading the search and mention other colleagues involved.
- Be sure to provide any requested information (transcripts, references) as soon as possible.
- Keep a log containing all the important information, any advice you were given and your impressions, and review this prior to a second interview.
You can set up a mock interview with a Career Development staff member on Handshake. Be sure to also check out our Guide to Interviewing for more information.