The following guidelines are intended to help improve your effectiveness before, during, and after the interview.
Before the Interview
Do Your Homework
- Plan ahead—research the employer and the position as much as possible, review your work experience, be ready to discuss your accomplishments
- Know the exact place and time of the interview, where to park, estimated travel time in traffic, the interviewer’s full name, and the correct pronunciations of the interviewer’s title and name
- Arrive at the interview at least 10 to 15 minutes early
- Make sure to bring extra copies of your resume
Practice: Mock Interviews
Once you have learned about the employer and reviewed your past experiences, begin to rehearse the interview. Our office offers mock interviews for undergraduate students applying for an internship and graduate students conducting a job search. Please call our office at 512-232-8400 to schedule a mock interview.
We’ll ask some general interview questions and give you some general feedback about your mock interview. If you have identified specific questions that are common in your field you can bring them with you to the mock interview. If not, then use these sample interview questions to rehearse beforehand.
Dress for Success
Consider the climate of the organization where you are interviewing and then dress at that level or slightly better. Employers will likely expect you to dress in business attire, and web sites for professional organizations often have information regarding expected interview attire in that field.
During the Interview
Employers use the interview to assess your qualifications and match them with particular job openings. Employers may ask why you want to work for their organization and how you are qualified.
Know your immediate and long-range career objectives and be able to communicate them in an organized fashion.
Use this as an opportunity to interview them, too. Be prepared to ask questions that show your interest and knowledge about the company.
After the Interview
If the employer has always contacted you by email, an email thank-you note is appropriate. If you’re interviewing with a conservative company, use regular mail to send your thank-you note. Whichever method you choose, send it shortly after the interview. Include your appreciation for the interviewer’s time, your interest in the position, and why you are a strong candidate. Also include any conversational highlights that will help them remember you.
You may be invited back for a second interview. This will allow you to talk more in-depth with an employer to see how your qualifications match the needs of the organization. This follow-up interview will be conducted similarly to the initial interview, but you will meet more people for a longer amount of time.