An interview is your time to sit down (usually face-to-face) with someone from an organization to discuss opportunities and share your relevant experiences. Remember, interviewers want to find a match. They want you to do well in your interview; they want you to be the best candidate.
Note: We are in the process of converting older materials on this page to ensure accessibility. If you are unable to access a document during this process, please contact this page’s web content manager by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will assist you.
The Stages of an Interview
- The First Impression: Initially, your interviewer will be checking that you are appropriately dressed (this almost always means a suit), that you have a firm handshake and that you are confident when introducing yourself.
- The Ice Breaker: Every interview is a conversation and most conversations start with small talk: "Did you find us okay?" or "What a beautiful day it is today." Be prepared to chit-chat a bit to ease in to the interview.
- General Overview Questions: Your interviewer might ask you "So, tell me about yourself" or "Why do you want to work for us." You should have a 30 second speech to articulate who you are, what you've done and what you want (this job!).
- Job-Specific Questions: Look at the job description to anticipate job-related questions you might be asked. You will need to discuss your skills, abilities and specific qualifications from past experiences.
- Behavioral-Based Questions: You will also be asked more open-ended, general questions about how you handle certain situations such as "Tell me about a time you had to resolve conflict," or "Describe your team building experiences." Be prepared to elaborate on these answers by providing VERY specific examples of your experiences.
- The Conclusion: At the end of an interview, always ask the interviewers for their contact information (business card) and how they would like you to follow up. Do exactly what they say.
- Prepare: Know your resume inside and out, and be prepared to explain it to an interviewer. Always have specific examples to answer anticipated questions - anticipate questions by looking at the job description.
- Research: You must demonstrate that you know what the organization does and how you see yourself fitting in with its mission and objectives. This involves reading the web site (thoroughly), reviewing the job description and researching current industry trends.
- Practice: Make sure you have practiced your interviewing skills. Ask your friends or call our office (508-565-1325) to set up a mock interview with a career counselor.
- Be Yourself: Interviewing is just as much about your fit with the company as it is about your qualifications. During an interview, try to relax and let your personality enhance what they've read about you on paper.