Preparing for your Interview
1. Research the Organization and Industry
Research the Company so that you can answer the
question, "why do you want to work here?" Be sure to view the organization's web site to see what it wants the
public to know (look at the About Us page). A survey of 320 company recruiters said that one of their worst
interview turnoffs was a lack of knowledge of the company and the industry.
2. Be a STAR
Figure out what your main selling points are for getting the job. Make sure THOSE points get made! Think of 5 or 6 of
your most marketable skills and experiences for THIS job. Review the relevant
skills recruiters want to see and prepare STAR stories based on
those that are most applicable to the job you seek. Specific, achievement oriented stories will help you stand out
when asked behavior-based interviewing questions.
3. Review Typical Interview Questions
Practice answering as many interview questions as you have time for. These Interview
Questions are a good place to start. Be sure you are prepared for behavioral based
questions as mentioned above. Don't just read the questions but determine what you will say. In particular
have a brief, well thought out answer to the first question, "Tell
Me About Yourself."
4. Determine Questions to ask the Interviewer
Prepare at least three or four good
questions to ask the interviewer. Make sure the questions are well thought out and reflect your interest in
what you can bring to the job, not what you want out of it. Do not ask about salary and benefits at a first
When asked to interview, inquire about the format and who you will be speaking with. Use LinkedIn and Google to
research your interviewer(s) and try to know something about them so that you can establish a connection with them
during the interview.
Know the location of your interview. You may want to do a dry-run the day before so that you have a good feel for
exactly how long it will take you to get there. Arrive at your location in plenty of time and try to relax, however,
do not show up to the interview spot until 5–10 minutes before your scheduled time. And remember you may be
observed for fit with the organization from the minute you arrive in the parking lot.
Dress for Success
Decide in advance what you will to wear to the interview. Your choice of clothes will demonstrate your understanding
of the organization's culture and that you care enough about the position to go out of your way to look as
professional and appropriate as possible.
Tips for men
Tips for women
At the Interview
impression will set the tone for your interview. Remember these 4 things:
- Try to look the interviewer in the eye
- Use a good handshake (practice and get feedback from a few people)
- Introduce yourself with your name
Do not take a seat until it is offered. Non-verbal
behavior is crucial. Look and sound confident.
While answering questions, constantly be monitoring yourself to see if what you are communicating will help you get
the job. If it won't then don't say it. Never volunteer anything negative. Be positive. Let them know you want the
- At the end of the interview you can ask about the next step in the hiring process. When can you expect to hear
- Get a business card so that you can follow-up with a thank you note.
- Leave showing enthusiasm, a good hand shake and a sincere thank you for their time.
After the Interview
Follow up with a one-time thank you
note or email.
If possible, contact someone you know with the company to let them know how your interview went and remind them of
your interest in the position.
Additional interviewing tips
For a fun, valuable infographic see What You
Wish You'd Known Before Your Job Interview.
Ponder these reasons if you
didn't get the job. Did you pass the "airport test"?
Did you find out that you need to prepare for a group interview or a panel interview?
Do you have a phone
interview or video
In an interview you should always be prepared to let the employer know that you have done your company research.
There are a number of methods for researching companies using the internet and online databases. At Westminster many
can be accessed through the Giovale Library home page.
Of course, through Google, you can find a company's website and read the information that the company wants you to
You can also collect information from 3rd party sources. For larger companies, many resources are available to
Westminster students including:
You will have to do a little more investigative research to find information on smaller and non-public firms. You
might want to ask for help from a research librarian or ask
a Career Counselor.