Congratulations! Making it to the interview stage is a huge accomplishment.
Interviews allow you to learn more about the organization while you share your accomplishments and skills with the employer, graduate school faculty, or service year advisors.
General Interview Guidelines
In every interview situation, regardless of interview type or context, it is important to present yourself as a professional. Use these tips to below to demonstrate your professional qualities.
Doing your homework on the company and position are critical to show that you are invested in the company and interested in the position. The more you show how much you know about the company, the more you stand out from the other job candidates.
When possible, research the interviewers, so you can establish an early rapport.
Beware of websites that give employee and/or interviewee information and opinions about the company. These sites are often used by people who are either very satisfied or very unsatisfied, so their information may be skewed.
Understanding the company’s culture is also about understanding their dress code.
Ask yourself: Is the organization for-profit, non-profit, or government? Non-profits tend to be less formal than for-profit and government.
Where is the organization located? Geography often influences the level of formality in all of its workplaces. Larger cities, for examples, can be more formal than smaller cities.
How does the organization market itself? Check the website and social media for how employees are depicted.
When in doubt, ask your interview contact about the policy.
Always be prepared with multiple copies of your professional portfolio. They may not ask for a copy but it is best to be prepared.
These copies can be printed on plain white paper or resume stock.
Arrive about 10-15 minutes early. Arriving early shows you have time management skills and that you are excited about the interview.
Don’t arrive too early – anything earlier than 15 minutes might mean that you are waiting in the reception area too long.
Prepare for your interview ahead of time by brainstorming answers to common questions.
Use Career Works for a mock interview. The Career Works staff can interview you beforehand, to help you predict the questions they may ask.
Like with any other interview, you need to prepare your own questions. Show your interest and ask a relevant inquiry. This is not the time to ask about pay, benefits, time off, or scheduling. Save those questions for when you have a formal job offer.
Be sure to thank each interviewer at the end and send follow up thank you notes to each interviewer, if possible.
Thank you notes can be handwritten and mailed or emailed. Email provides more expediency but handwritten notes are more traditional. Consider the hiring timeline and the formality of the company when making your choice
Career Works can help your prepare
Career Works also provides the following resources to students to assist them with interviews:
Practice Interviews: Our staff can help you prep for an interview by conducting a practice or “mock” interview with you. Practice interviews can take place in three formats: in-person, by phone, or by Zoom. It’s best to use the format that you’ll be using in the interview, for the most authentic experience.
Interview Room: If you have a phone or video interview and need a quiet space, Career Works staff can assist you in booking a space on campus.
Every country and culture has an individual approach to interviewing. Additionally, there may be very different laws and cultural practices in interviews, from asking what may seem like personal questions to body language.
To get country-specific advice, check out GoinGlobal. You can access GoinGlobal by logging in to Handshake, clicking on “Career Center”, then clicking on “Resources” and searching for “GoinGlobal”. The country and city guides include directions on interviewing, communication styles, professional attire, and more.