Interviewing Tips for Every College Student

Interviewing Success Educational Video

Practice interviewing

If you have not been to many interviews, ask a friend or classmate to help you get more comfortable with the process. Review the Commonly Asked Interview Questions (see below) to get started. Think about how you would answer them. Don't memorize canned answers. Instead focus on answering the questions honestly and in a relaxed manner. 

Do the research

Spend time reviewing available background information regarding the company hosting the interview. Visit their website to learn about their challenges and accomplishments. Review any press releases that they may have recently posted, and look for any articles that may have been published about the business. 

Be professional

Greet your interviewer(s) professionally. Wear an outfit that would be appropriate for the work environment. Show up early for the interview. If for some unforeseen reason you need to delay or reschedule, let the interviewer know as soon as possible. During the interview, be polite and attentive. This includes turning off your phone. Constant vibrating can quickly become a distraction and derail the discussion. 

Know yourself

Interviewers typically ask you about your personal strengths and weaknesses. Spend some time before the interview identifying three or four for each category. To highlight your skills and capabilities, think of an example or personal anecdote for each that demonstrates how you embody these traits. If you don't have a work history to draw from, rely on incidents from your academic career. Also think about ways you can overcome your weaknesses.

Know the job

Carefully study the posted job description and be able to easily summarize why you would be a good fit for the position. Cite how previous experiences (academic, personal, and professional) have prepared you for the role. 

Ask questions

Companies routinely evaluate hiring candidates on the level of enthusiasm and interest they show during interviews. Be prepared to ask questions about the position and the organization. Ask the interviewer about the company's culture and why they personally enjoy working there. You may want to consider writing these questions down beforehand so you don’t forget them. Have a minimum of three to five pre-planned questions.

Follow up

Before you leave, make sure you have contact information for the interviewer. Then send them a follow-up email or letter, thanking them for the opportunity. Be sure to reference anything that was mentioned during the discussion and briefly reiterate why you think the job would be an excellent match for your skills.

For information on preparing for a virtual interview, see Succeeding in a Virtual Interview.

Commonly Asked Interview Questions

1. Can you tell me a little about yourself? 

2. How did you hear about the position? 

3. What do you know about the company? 

4. Why do you want this job? 

5. Why should we hire you? 

6. What are your greatest professional strengths? 

7. What do you consider to be your weaknesses? 

8. What is your greatest professional achievement? 

9. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you've faced, and how you dealt with it. 

10. Where do you see yourself in five years? 

11. What's your dream job? 

12. What other companies are you interviewing with? 

13. Why are you leaving your current job? 

14. Why were you fired? 

15. What are you looking for in a new position? 

16. What type of work environment do you prefer? 

17. What's your management style? 

18. What's a time you exercised leadership? 

19. What's a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work? 

20. How would your boss and co-workers describe you? 

21. Why was there a gap in your employment? 

22. Can you explain why you changed career paths? 

23. How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations? 

24. What would your first 30, 60, or 90 days look like in this role? 

25. What are your salary requirements? 

26. What do you like to do outside of work? 

27. What do you think we could do better or differently? 

28. Do you have any questions for us?


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Article ID: 114633
Mon 8/24/20 9:16 PM
Mon 1/8/24 10:17 AM

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A mock interview, also known as a practice interview, is a simulation of an actual job interview. It provides you with an opportunity to practice for an interview and receive feedback.