Preparing for the Interview
Conduct Your Research
It is essential that you prepare yourself for the interview by doing research on the organization. Interviewers will want to know why you want to work for them as opposed to working for some other organization. You should have knowledge of their services, products, or goals before going into the interview. This is a must for campus interviews. Career Services also recommends that you research the industry for which you are interviewing (e.g., banking, insurance, advertising, non-profits).
A few good resources for conducting your research include:
- The employer's homepage (if available) - most employers have a website, and you can be certain that they will expect you to have viewed it!
- College professors and people already working in the field.
- Stock brokerage firms for annual reports.
- Online career research tools such as Vault and Wetfeet.
- Job Choices magazine for basic information on organizations that hire college graduates.
- Industry-related magazines or journals.
The publications mentioned above, as well as others, are available for reading in the Career Services library.
Practice Makes Perfect
- Schedule a mock interview with Career Services or participate in our Mock Interview Day.
- Make a list of questions you want to ask about the organization.
- Rehearse answers to questions that employers are likely to ask you.
The Day of Your Interview
- Dress appropriately! Appearance is the first thing you communicate to others. A suit for both women and men is almost always appropriate for all types of interviews. Visit What to Wear for more detailed tips on interview attire.
- Know the name of the interviewer. Be ready to greet him/her by a last name and be prepared for a handshake
- Bring a pen and portfolio-style folder containing extra copies of your resume. Don’t bring your backpack to the interview.
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early. You never want to start off an interview with an excuse for being late. Also, you may be asked to fill out paperwork before your interview begins.
- Take a deep breath and give it your all!
What to Wear
Appearance is the first thing you communicate to others. Before you have a chance to speak, others notice how you dress and draw conclusions about you accordingly. Appropriate dress is one of the most important factors in your job search. Your appearance creates an impression that can complement your credentials and give you an extra edge over a field of other qualified competent individuals.
There are standards of professional dress in all career fields. Some industries are more traditional, such as banking, consulting and business. Let the dress standards in the field(s) in which you are interviewing be a guide to what you wear for your interview. Attire in fields such as advertising, the arts, fashion, communications and entertainment is generally less conservative, so the rules are a bit more relaxed.
- Traveling to an On-Site Interview: While traveling to an on-site interview, semi-casual attire or business dress (see above) is best. You may meet someone when traveling or be met upon arrival by someone who will have a part in the hiring process.
- Evening Events: If you are attending an evening reception or dinner as part of your interview process, business dress is most suitable unless otherwise specified in the invitation.
- Career Fairs: For career fairs, business dress is best.
- Picking Up/Dropping Off Resumes/Applications: For picking up or dropping off a resume or application at an employer's office, it is suggested that you wear semi-casual dress.