Student Professional Development Center

During the Interview

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early.
  • Treat everyone in a professional manner from the moment you arrive.
  • Carry a portfolio or professional folder, which includes extra resumes, your reference sheet (in case it's requested), and a list of questions to ask the interviewer.
  • Greet the interviewer with a smile, a firm handshake, and address her or him by formal name (Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr.).
  • Speak clearly and enthusiastically about your experiences and skills.  Exhibit confidence without arrogance!
  • Listen carefully!  Answer the questions asked directly and concisely, keeping in mind the interviewer is looking for answers that show how you fit into their organization.
  • Anything on your resume is fair game.  Be able to elaborate on anything listed on your resume.
  • Do not sound too rehearsed.  You want to sound as if you've prepared, but you don't want to sound like you memorized your responses.
  • Be positive about past employers, co-workers, school, professors, etc.  Negative statements may reflect poorly on you.
  • Pay attention to your non-verbal behavior.  Maintain good eye contact, sit up straight, and control nervous habits (such as crossing your arms, tapping your foot, cracking your knuckles, playing with jewelry, etc.).
  • When responding to questions, do not ramble, but do not give one word answers either.  Avoid answering with just a "Yes" or "No"
  • Use proper grammar and avoid slang.  Remember, no matter how comfortable you may feel during the interview, this is a professional experience.  Be relaxed, but not too relaxed.  Also, remember that you are being evaluated on how well you communicate.
  • At the end of the interview, ask about the next step in the process.  Find out when they expect to make a decision and if they need any additional information from you.
  • If possible obtain a business card(s) from your interviewer(s).
  • Thank the interviewer for his or her time and end with a handshake.  Let him or her know you look forward to the next step.  If you want the job, say so in a professional manner.
  • If during the course of the interview you decide you are not truly interested in the position, you may want to tell the employer at this time.  However, be professional and still thank her or him for taking the time to meet with you.

 Phone Interviews

Employers may choose to conduct a telephone interview to screen applicants and make the first cut to determine if they want to arrange a face-to-face meeting. For some great tips about phone interviewing visit Quintessential Careers' Web site.