Interviews

Interviews are a two-way street. Not only do they provide the opportunity for you to present your background and experiences but give you the ability to evaluate a potential supervisor and work environment. There are various formats depending on the type of interview and its purpose. You may be participating in an informational interview with one of your contacts or in the final stages with an employer. No matter what the scenario is, it is important to be prepared and polished.

Preparing for the Interview

You wouldn't show up for your final exam without studying what you’ll be tested on, correct? The same applies in interviewing as an unprepared interviewee can ruin their chances of landing a position. To help you put your best foot forward we offer the following advice:

For in-depth interview help, review the Ace the Interview video trainings from LinkedIn Learning, provided for free by Brandeis.

Interview Don'ts: Tips & Situations To Avoid

video of student dressing too casually for an job interview

When business casual gets a little too casual

video of student in an interview that did not do any research previously

When you don't research the company

video of student in an interview that lied on their resume

When you embellish on your resume

video of student speaking badly about former employer in interview

When you had a bad experience at your last job

Navigating the Interview

Your interview begins right when you walk in the door. Be sure you are cordial and courteous to everyone you meet and interact with as first impressions are lasting ones. During the interview, you will want to provide a brief introduction about yourself, be prepared to answer questions about your skills, background and strengths, and have questions available to gain further insight and information into the role.

Asking and Responding to Questions

Question Types
Traditional questions that you may encounter are in the following categories:

The STAR Technique
This technique provides a strategic framework to share concrete examples.

STAR Method Video

Interviewing using the S.T.A.R Method

Questions to Ask
You will be expected to have questions at the end of the interview. Make sure that your questions:

Sample Interview Questions

Post-Interview

Send a thank you note within 24–48 hours of your interview. This is a critical opportunity to restate your interest and qualifications that set you apart from other candidates.

Additional Tips

Informational Interviews

Informational interviews are a crucial and often overlooked aspect of networking. They are the best ways to find out about a type of occupation and make a contact. Informational interviews are person-to-person conversations that help you gain information, insight, and advice from people who are in the functional areas, industries, and companies that hold your interest.

The following is a list of sample questions you can ask during an informational interview: