Student Guide: Interview Techniques


The job interview is in simple terms, a conversation between an employer and an employment candidate. It is an opportunity for the candidate to market themselves and their abilities. The employer wants to know about you and for you to get to know the employer.

Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience for both you and the interviewer. You must approach the interview with confidence and to be friendly and open during the interview process. it is a good idea to review and prepare yourself by using the interview techniques found below.

What to Do

  • Express yourself clearly with a strong voice and good diction and grammar.
  • Do pay close attention to your personal appearance; dress to your advantage.
  • Do make concrete goals in planning for your career.
  • Do offer a firm handshake.
  • Do look the interviewer in the eye (but don't stare him or her down).
  • Do fill out applications neatly and completely.
  • Do have as much knowledge about the industry, employer, and position as possible.
  • Do take criticism gracefully.
  • Do equip yourself with a strong knowledge of the company.
  • Do have prepared questions about the employer and position.
  • Do display a sense of humor.
  • Do display self-confidence.
  • Do bring a pen and small notebook with you to the interview.
  • Do remember the interviewer's name and use it during the interview.
  • Do take time to think before answering difficult or unexpected questions.
  • Do take an extra copy of your resume and a list of references with you to the interview.
  • Do follow-up with a thank-you note restating your interest in the position.
  • Do contact the employer by phone if the interviewer does not contact you one week after the time from which he or she indicated you would be notified.

What NOT to Do

  • Don't be overbearing, overaggressive or conceited.
  • Don't show a lack of interest or enthusiasm.
  • Don't emphasize money as your main interest in the job.
  • Don't expect too much too soon -be open to the idea of starting at the bottom and working your way up.
  • Don't make excuses for unfavorable factors on your record.
  • Don't condemn past employers or institutions of education; keep comments positive.
  • Don't display a marked dislike for schoolwork.
  • Don't be indecisive.
  • Don't display intolerance or prejudice.
  • Don't interview unless you are interested in the job...don't just "shop around."
  • Don't be late to the interview.
  • Don't state specific geographic restrictions.
  • Don't contradict yourself in responses.
  • Don't take notes during the interview -jot down your notes immediately after the interview.
  • Don't forget: YOU control the content of the interview.
  • Don't glorify your past experiences -getting into a job for which you are under qualified is not recommended.
  • Don't assume that all employers will be delighted to hear of your plans for graduate school.
  • Don't smoke; chew gum, etc. even if offered or if the interviewer does so.

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