Interview Tips

In addition to the practice interviews and workshops we offer here on campus, use these tips when you interview for a job or internship.

Your First Interview
You got an interview! When you get that exciting phone call, do everything you can to leave a great first impression. Don’t overdo it, but give that important first impression of enthusiasm and confidence. Ask the following questions:

  • What materials (portfolio, writing samples, grade records) should I bring to the interview?
  • Will more than one person interview me? If so, can you give me their names and titles?
  • Will I be making a presentation, taking any tests, or asked to demonstrate certain skills (such as computer literacy or video editing)?
  • What is the date, time and room location of my interview?
  • What is the company's exact address? Can you give me directions? (Be sure to double check directions online).
  • At the end of the phone call, don't forget to thank the recruiter or hiring manager. Tell him or her that you look forward to meeting them.

On the interview, keep these simple interview Do’s and Don’ts in mind:

Before Your Interview

  • Do research the company. You'll be expected to know exactly what the company does, their mission statement/goals, who their competition is, and any current news about the company.
  • Do prepare a list of questions based on your research and the job posting.
  • Do prepare success stories to share.
  • Do dress professionally.
  • Do be early.
  • Do know your resume; anything on it will be fair game for questions.
  • Do bring an extra copy of your resume, references list, and portfolio with you.

During Your Interview

  • Do turn off your cell phone.
  • Do offer a firm hand shake (but not bone crushing or a dead fish).
  • Do maintain good eye contact.
  • Do be yourself; display a sense of humor and self-confidence.
  • Do back up your responses with specific examples.
  • Do be honest.

After Your Interview

  • Do ask for a business card.
  • Do conclude the interview with a firm handshake and “Thank you.”
  • Do make notes about the interview immediately afterwards, so that you can retain critical details.
  • Do follow-up with a written thank-you note restating your interest in the position within 24 hours.

What Not To Do

  • Don’t ask questions that have already been answered.
  • Don't be overconfident and boastful.
  • Don’t act desperate to get the job.
  • Don’t chew gum or smell like smoke.
  • Don't show a lack of interest or enthusiasm. Even if you don’t want the job, be professional.
  • Don't emphasize the salary or geographic location as your primary interest in the job.
  • Don't expect too much too soon. Be prepared to take an entry level position. 
  • Don't speak negatively about bad employment experiences. Keep your comments positive.
  • Don’t fidget, scratch, and fuss with your clothing.
  • Don't glorify your past experiences. You need to be able to fulfill on expectations if you get the job.

Acing an Interview
Interview Rubric (48K PDF)
Video: How to communicate your strengths