Interview Preparation

Research the Company

Before any interview, make sure you do your research. Start by searching the company’s website and look at their mission statement, about us section, annual reports, and other key web pages. You can also search company directories and insider websites, such as GlassDoor.com. It is a free resource that offers company reviews, salary reports, and interview questions all posted by current employees. Hoovers.com, Vault.com, and Wetfeet.com are also helpful sites for online research. Lastly, you can investigate information through the local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau. And remember that LinkedIn can be used to research companies and industries.

First Impressions

Bring with you a professional padfolio or folder, pen, notepad, copies of your résumé and references, and a list of questions for the employer. Make a positive first impression with a smile, firm handshake and professional attire (infographic).

Before the interview, find out the interviewer’s name and how to pronounce it (use Mr. or Ms. when you first meet). Also, be sure to get directions to the interview location and make sure you arrive 15-20 minutes early! Prepare specific examples of accomplishments, leadership roles, and other experiences that you can use to answer questions during the interview.

Interview Questions

Be aware of common types of questions, what the interviewer expects, your non-verbal communication, and tips to help you be successful. Career Services highly recommends reviewing the Guide to Interviewing (PDF).

Direct Questions require a specific answer, often just a one or two word answer like “yes” or “no”.

  • Will you relocate?
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • Do you have plans for continued study? An advanced degree?
  • Do you think your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement?

Open Ended Questions allow you to communicate more about what your experiences have been and what you hope to offer a prospective employer.

  • What do you consider your greatest strength(s)?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?

Behavioral Questions predict a candidate’s future performance by inquiring about their past performance in a similar situation. To answer these questions, briefly describe the situation, the action steps you took, and the outcome of those action steps.

  • Give an example of an important goal that you successfully achieved.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a task accomplished.
  • Describe an instance when you used good judgment in solving a problem.
  • By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations, and environments.

Scenario Questions require you to think through a specific scenario provided by the interviewer and explain how you would handle the situation.

  • If you were in a situation where a coworker was doing something illegal or against company policy, what would you do?”
  • How would you handle yourself if you experienced conflict with someone at work?
  • You disagree with the way your supervisor tells you to handle a situation. What would you do?
  • You don’t have the information you need to complete a project. Your co-workers and supervisor are unavailable to ask for assistance. What would you do next?