Interview Tips | Harris School of Business
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5 Job Interview Tips to Help You Prepare for the Big Day

When you are invited to interview for a job, it is a big deal! This is your chance to show the hiring manager what you will be like as an employee, and how you can contribute to the organization’s overall goals.

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the interview, practice mock interviews with mentors, friends, and family, and be sure to research the latest interview tips.

Below is a list of interview tips that you can use as a checklist as you get ready for the big day. Remember, the more you prepare ahead of time, the more confident you will feel. So take your time, and when the day comes, hold your head high!

Interview Tips

1. Research

A. Do an Internet search on the organization that is interviewing you.

  • Study the website in depth.
  • How long have they been in business?
  • How many employees do they have?
  • Find customer reviews of the organization.

B. Find out about the job position.

  • Is this the right level for you to be applying?
  • Do the skills advertised in the job ad match the skills you have?

2. Prepare Questions

A. Make a list of 5 to 10 questions to ask your interviewer about the organization.

  • What are the main responsibilities of this position?
  • What are the qualities you are looking for in an employee?
  • Who does this position report to?
  • How many people work in the department I would be working in?
  • What is the typical schedule for a work week?
  • What computer equipment and software are used on the job?
  • Are there opportunities for advancement and growth?
  • Is there anything else I can provide you regarding my qualifications?

B. Do not ask inappropriate questions

  • Do not ask “how much money will I make?”
  • Do not ask “can I take vacation time?”
  • Do not ask “did I get the job?”

3. Practice

A. Prepare your answers to these typical interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your education and work experience to prepare you for this job?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Describe your computer skills.
  • Describe a difficult situation in your past work or school experience and how you handled it.
  • What are your career goals?
  • Why do you want to work here?

B. Do several mock interviews with a career services advisor and even with friends and family.

4. Shortly Before the Interview

A. Call a few hours in advance to confirm your interview.

B. Map out your route in advance, so that you are not late.

C. Dress in a professional manner that shows that you respect the interviewer and are serious about the job opportunity. Keep makeup, jewelry, and accessories to a minimum. Bring only a small portfolio or purse.

D. Print out and bring several copies of your resume, references, and your list of questions.

E. Go to the interview alone and arrive about 5 minutes early.

F. Turn off your cell phone, and put it away for the entire visit.

5. The Interview itself: Go forward with confidence!

A. Greet the office staff and the interviewer with a smile.

  • Wait for a handshake until the interviewer extends his or her hand first.
  • Remember the interviewer’s name.

B. Answer questions briefly and truthfully.

  • Take your time formulating your answer.
  • Start with a short answer to the question, and then provide a little more detail.
  • Don’t talk on endlessly and be sure to stick to the point of the question.
  • If you don’t know an answer, stay truthful and just say that you don't know.
  • Try not to giggle nervously.

C. Keep good posture, positive eye contact, and speak clearly. Don’t forget to smile.

D. Conclude the interview with expressing your interest in the job. If it seems appropriate, ask for a tour of the facility. Ask for the interviewer’s business card.

E. The next day, follow up with a thank you letter.

tips for what to wear to an an interview for women Download 5 Interview Tips to Help You Prepare for the Big Day