Preparation for Interviews

  • Arrive on time

  • Know yourself - strengths and weaknesses; skills, interests, and values; accomplishments; long-term & short term goals

  • Keep to the point - Don’t bring up extraneous matters

  • Be as specific as possible

  • Introduce yourself to everyone in the interview process

  • Watch your non-verbal communication - Have a firm handshake, steady eye contact, positive facial and vocal expressions

  • Dress appropriately - If you don’t know if you need to dress up, ask when setting up the interview

  • Think ahead - what questions might you be asked?

For the Interview

  • Be able to describe your abilities as they relate to the position for which you are applying.

  • Review job description or position description.

  • Create your own list of skills that are important to the position.

  • Build a collection or portfolio of your better work.

  • Thoroughly research the organization; find out the history, mission, future plans.

  • Draw up list of four or five questions to ask.

  • Practice even though it may be just an interview with other students, make a good first impression!

  • It’s a two-way street! Get to know the organization as much as they are getting to know you.

  • Gain insight about the position and the organization.

  • Ask about notification and timeline. Know how you will be notified by phone, campus mail, or in person.

  • Send thank you notes.

Being the Interviewer or on a Search Committee

  • Make sure that you have an accurate job description for the position for which you are interviewing.

  • Take time before the interview to think about some basic questions that you will ask to all candidates.

  • Review the application materials or resume of the applicant before the interview (and this doesn’t mean five minutes before!).

  • Highlight areas in the material that you would like to find out more about or you need clarification.

  • Have a plan about how the interview will start. Know who is going to start speaking and what the “flow” will be.

  • Make sure that you leave time at the end of the interview for the candidate to ask questions.

 Adapted from Grand Valley State University