Tips for a Successful Interview  

Sometimes, your impression of an interviewer can be more important than your actual qualifications. Along with your education and experience, you will be evaluated on your attitude, social skills, communication abilities, and poise.  


 You and the interviewer must have a conversation, mutual exchange and information. Only by having a conversation can you determine if the job, the company, and you are a good match. Preparation is key.  

 Always arrive on time

This often means arriving 10-15 minutes early. Interviewers are often ready for the appointment before they even begin.  


  Get to know the name of the interviewer, spelling and pronunciation.

It can be used during an interview. If you don’t know the secretary’s name, call ahead and ask. Keep track of the secretary’s name for future calls. Secretaries can influence the hiring decision!  


 Prepare some questions for yourself in advance.

It is okay to have a list of questions and ideas. This shows that you have researched the company and are interested in learning more about it.  


 Take several copies of your resume.

A copy of your transcript is also recommended. You should keep your papers organized.  


 Keep a pen and a small notepad handy.

Do not take notes during interviews. Write down everything you remember immediately after the interview, including your impressions of how you did.  


 Warmly greet the interviewer by shaking hands and smiling.

Keep your eyes open (but not a stare down)  


 You will need to spend time building rapport.

Do not jump in and get right to the business. Follow the lead of your interviewer.  


 Do not be afraid to express your nervousness.

You’ll feel more comfortable with the interview process as you gain experience.  



Your attributes, transferable skills and willingness to learn are what you should be focusing on.  


 Be truthful

Lies and exaggeration will haunt you.  


 Pay attention to the interviewer.

Make sure you understand the question. If not, ask for clarification or rephrase it in your own words. Be concise and complete in your answers. Keep your focus on the topic at hand.  


 Do not disrespect a friend, teacher, employer or university.

Loyalty is a top priority for employers.  


 Watch your grammar.

Employers value candidates who can express themselves clearly. Even if it is necessary to take your time and correct mistakes, accuracy is more important than ungrammatical fluency.  


 Prepare for personal questions.

Interviewers might not be aware of the legal requirements. You can plan how to respond to such questions without losing your cool.  


 Wait until the interviewer mentions salary and benefits.

See the salary surveys or the Career Services website in the career library for information about pay scales.  


 Do not expect a job offer right away.

You will often be invited to a second or third interview before an offer is made. This can happen several weeks later.  


 A positive and enthusiastic note.

Ask the interviewer what the next steps will be. Thanks for taking the time to interview and tell them that you are interested in the job. With a smile and a handshake, you can quickly leave the interviewer’s office.  


 Thank you notes are essential to a successful interview.

Thank you for interviewing me. If true, express your gratitude and reaffirm your interest. This is a crucial step that can make a big difference. Don’t forget it.  


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