Frequently Asked Questions
Question / Next
How do I prepare for an interview?
You have done your research,
perfected your resume and cover letter, and are dressed
and groomed well. Now you are ready for the interview
process. There are many ways to better prepare
yourself for an interview. Here are some tips. They
are explained in detail in the Internship
Workbook (pdf) .
Before the Interview:
- Have someone with work
experience conduct a mock interview with you.
- Review and prepare answers
to the most commonly asked interview questions.
- Anticipate how to incorporate
life experiences into interview answers.
- Familiarize yourself with
different types of interview techniques.
- Review your resume so you
can easily recall important facts and accomplishments.
- Buy a Padfolio (a folder
with a writing pad in it), and bring two writing
- Educate yourself about
- Determine the exact location
of the interview and estimate how long it will
take to get there.
- Clean and lay out clothes
the night before the interview.
- There is a good chance
that you may become part of a group interview,
so do not be surprised if there are multiple interviewers
is also a good chance that you may be interviewed
by more than one person during the day. Maintain
a positive attitude and try to keep your answers
fresh, even if you have answered the question
many times before.
a good night’s
During the interview:
- Remember to bring the Padfolio,
your writing instruments and extra resumes.
- Chew any mints and get
rid of the gum!
up early for the interview, preferably 15 minutes
to be yourself!
off your cell phone! This
includes turning off the vibrating option.
- Be truthful and do not
the first person and everyone else you meet with
a smile, good humor, and dignity.
- Immediately stand when
the interviewer meets you, and firmly shake his
or her hand.
- Wait to be seated until
the interviewer sits down or until you are invited
- If anyone else enters
the room, stand up, and greet them.
people Mr./Mrs./Ms. until you are asked to do
- Thank interviewers before
the formal interview begins for their time and
interest in you.
the interview, be proud of your educational background
and do not apologize for coming from a small,
private liberal arts college. Instead, if asked about your
education, stress that you have received an excellent
foundation in your particular field of study and
a well-rounded education as well. Play
to your strength that this combination has transformed
you into a person who can handle a wide variety
of assignments and that you are flexible in your
- Show enthusiasm
- Try to stay focused, but
do not stare a hole through their head!
carefully, jot down a few notes if appropriate,
and follow-up on a few points the interviewers
may have focused on during the give and take
of the interview. Always
be respectful, polite, and charming.
- Use your research when
all goes well, you may be asked to stay for lunch
or dinner. Please
refer to the Internship Workbook for proper meal
etiquette and, if nothing else—use your utensils!
the end of the interview, use a few of the questions
you have prepared in advance, without getting
- Near the end of your interview
ask what the next stage of the process might be.
- Be sure to shake their
hands and to say thank you.
- Exit with a smile, take
a deep breath, and remember that the more you interview,
the easier it gets.
After the interview:
- Hand write a thank you
note to everyone who interviewed you.
- If you are not contacted
after 14 days, it is permissible to contact the
potential internship sponsor. Most organizations
move slowly, and it takes time to process you through
the hierarchy, so be patient.
one more week before trying again if the first “reminder” is
not answered. Be very positive, and indicate
that you still desire the internship. If
you do not receive a reply, or are turned down,
it is time to let go and pursue your other opportunities.