The interview process is a conversation between an applicant and prospective employer. The purpose of the interview is to find out three things. First, can the applicant do the job, in terms of the applicant’s skills and experience? Second, will the applicant do the job? In other words, does the applicant possess the motivation, work ethic and energy to achieve the work objectives? Third, will the applicant fit in? Here the employer assesses how the applicant will fit in with the organizational dynamics of the work environment.
The interview is not a one sided process, as an applicant and candidate for the position, there are steps you can take to prepare for this important conversation with a prospective employer. Below are few thoughts to get you started on the path to successful interviewing. For more detailed information about interviewing download the “Preparing for Job Interviews”
guide or take advantage of the videos on interviewing from the UCC staff and Career TV. In addition you can practice interviewing online using Optimal Interview
or in person by scheduling a mock interview at the University Career Center.
When you get the offer to interview make sure to confirm all the details; when, where, with whom, etc. Research the employer. Know what services the organization provides or the products they sell. Demonstrating that you have researched the company or organization well will give you an edge over the competition. Double-check your online professional image.
Your physical image in the face to face interview is vital. You should dress for the job you want. It is a good rule to overdress rather than be underdressed. For most interviews, the appropriate attire is business attire. A two-piece matching suit is recommended.
There are many resources available to you on this website and at the University Career Center to optimize your interview experience. Practice answering sample interview questions
with friends or family or in front of a mirror. You can also practice interviewing online with Optimal Interview or schedule an in-person mock interview at the UCC. Click here
for practice employment interview questions by industry as well practice interview questions for medical and professional schools. For more practice questions organized by industry, click here
On the day of the interview arrive approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled interview. When you arrive at the interview site, everything you do is up for scrutiny, so how you interact with the employer and the environment is crucial. Be nice to everyone. Offer a nice, firm hand shake. Not too hard and not too soft. Smile and make eye contact. Good eye contact conveys confidence.
During the interview, body language is just as important as the answers you deliver. Be aware of your body language; sit up straight, engage eye contact, smile and be positive.
While answering questions; be sure to be concise and emphasize positive characteristics. Do not talk about negative things. Deliver well thought out answers that emphasize results and impact of your skills and experience.
Also be prepared to ask questions of your own. This will help demonstrate your interest in the position and your company research. The is an opportunity to separate yourself from the other candidates. Also, at the end of the interview there are two things to remember. First, thank the employer for the opportunity to interview and reiterate you interest in the job and why you would be a good fit for the position. Second, confirm with the employer next steps in the hiring process so that you won't have to wonder what to do next.
Finally, make sure to send a thank you note. An email is acceptable but a handwritten note is preferred. An email directly following the interview with a handwritten to follow within 24 hours is recommended.