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Preparing for Your Interview

Preparing properly for your interview is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure that you are presenting yourself well and doing your best to appeal to potential employers.

There are several ways you should prepare for your interview:

  1. Do some research. It's important that you research a company and the products or services they sell, before your interview so that you can demonstrate your interest and commitment to the company's goals and strategies. Nothing sends up a red flag for an employer like a candidate who doesn't have at least a basic understanding of what their company does or sells. Additionally, by researching a company ahead of time you can gain knowledge about the company culture, ethics, the potential for raises or promotions, and more.

    It's also a good idea to research the person (or people) who will be interviewing you so you know who they are, what their role is in the company, and can gather any pertinent background information before meeting them. Try searching for them online or on social media.

  2. Prepare Answers and Practice. It's usually a good idea to prepare your answers to some of the most typical interview questions ahead of time. This will help you be ready to answer tough questions in a clear and professional manner and will demonstrate your commitment to the position. Additionally, practicing answering questions in the mirror or with a friend can help you examine your body language and tone to make sure you're giving off the correct impression during your interview. Campus students can contact the Career & Professional Development Center to schedule a Mock interview to practice their interviewing skills and get real-time constructive feedback on their answers.

  3. Bring Your Best. There are several things you may want to consider bringing with you on your interview: several crisp and clean copies of your resume, cover letter, references, transcripts or other pertinent documentation, a brief portfolio with examples of your work and accomplishments (if applicable), directions to and from the place where you will be interviewing, breath mints, a list of questions to ask your interviewers, etc. 

The suggestions above are just a few of the ways you should be preparing for your interview. For more information on how to prepare for your interview, check out these resources:

Tips & Types of Interviews

*NOTE: If you are in contact with a recruiter for a company, you can ask for some tips and recommendations prior to the interview. Tips on how to dress and what to prepare are things recruiters are often very happy to share. Some companies will NOT hire someone because they wear a tie to an interview, and other companies will NOT hire someone because they DON'T wear a tie. It really depends on the organization!*

How to Dress for Your Job Interview

First impressions mean a lot during interviews, so what you wear and how you present yourself is important. Check out these resources to help you look your best for your interview:

Interviewing Over a Meal

Sometimes you will be invited to a meal by your potential employers. Whether this is a "casual" night-before the official interview meal or an on-the-go lunch screening, you need to make sure you follow some basic etiquette rules and are prepared for this type of interview. Check out these resources for tips:

Preparing for a Phone Interview

Phone or video interviews are typically used to pre-screen candidates before bringing them in for an in-person interview. Here are some resources to help you prepare for your phone or video interview:

Preparing for an Online Interview

Preparing for a live online or HireVue interview? HireVue interviews can be used as either an actual interview or to pre-screen candidates before bringing them in for an in-person interview. Here are some resources to help you prepare for both of these online options:

Preparing for an International Interview

Preparing for an international interview? International business interviews may be conducted differently than in the United States. For information and tips on international interviews, check out the resources below!

Writing a Thank You

After your interview it's important that you write a thank you note to your potential employers. In addition to being polite, this will help leave a lasting impression of you and re-enforce your interest in the position. Check out these resources to help you write a thoughtful and appropriate thank you note:

Books about Interviewing

The following books are a sample of our library books and eBooks about interviewing. For more books and eBooks please search the Online Library Catalog or ask a librarian for help.

Are you an online student who can't get to the library in person? Request a print book be mailed to you!