Getting Started - Preparing
for an Interview
The purpose of an interview is for the potential
employer to determine your characteristics, abilities
and transferable skills. With this stated you know
what you have to do during the interview. Sell yourself!
As stated with your resume, you are the product and
you are marketing yourself. You must pay attention
to detail and put your best foot forward. Employers
want you to convey to them your qualifications/skills
and how you will be able to utilize them at their
organization. You also need to convey you have a
Before any interview you must do your homework.
You must prepare yourself by doing self reflection.
What are your career goals? What jobs have you
had in the past that you enjoyed? What jobs have
you had in the past that you did not like? By
answering these questions it helps you to determine
careers/tasks that you would enjoy performing.
The more you know about yourself the easier it
is to convey your skills to a potential employer.
Another part of doing your homework is to research
the company/organization. You must have a good
knowledge of the company/organization. What do they do? Who are there top
competitors? These are just a few examples of
the type of information you should know before
You also need to do research on the interview process.
Talk to people who are experienced in interviewing.
They can give you tips on interviewing. Review
articles on different interview formats. This
helps you be prepared for any interview setting
or style. Ask someone if you could perform a
mock interview. Then have the person provide
you with honest feedback. Video taping a mock
interview can also provide you with a lot of
insight into how you interview. This way you
can review the tape and see how you did during
the interview. Keep in mind, the more you interview
the better you get at it. You can not anticipate
every question that an interviewer will ask you
but you can try to prepare yourself as much as
possible. Reviewing Sample
Interview Questions (pdf)
can assist you with this step.
In addition to being mentally prepared you must
be physically prepared for the interview. In an
ideal world you should always have a good night’s
sleep before any interview and you should wear a nicely pressed, conservative,
dark suit. There may be a few rare occasions when you may not be required to
wear a suit. Do not forget to polish your shoes. You must look neat and clean
from head to toe. Do not over accessorize or wear too much cologne or perfume.
For more tips please review Tips for
a Successful Interview (pdf).
Follow up every interview with a thank you note
or letter to everyone with whom you interviewed.
This is a simple act that can make a very big positive
impression on the interviewer. Collect business cards
from everyone who interviews you to ensure you have
their proper name and address. Make sure you send
the thank you note within 24 or 48 hours of the completion
of the interview.
Write a Cover Letter
Prepare for an Interview