As already stated, you must review your background to ensure it relates to each employer and respective position and, you must do your research regarding the company, product line or services and career paths. Read company literature and view any video material available.

General Tips:

  1. Arrive early. Allow time to relax.

  2. Although the interviewer will probably have a copy of your resume, bring an additional copy. You may want to bring a copy of your transcripts too. It is not appropriate to take notes during the interview. However, should you wish to make notes before or after the interview, a pen and small notebook may be help full.

  3. Focus all your attention on the interview. Eye contact is very important. Don’t stare but maintain eye contact the same as you would when conversing with a friend.

  4. Dress professionally yet comfortably. It is important to present a neat appearance, rather than an expensive one.

  5. Be prepared. Keep your clothing freshly cleaned, shirts or blouses wrinkle free and shoes polished.

  6. Avoid heavy after-shave or perfume. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum. You do not want any distractions.

  7. Nails should be neatly trimmed at all times, even if you work with your hands. Hair should always be neatly groomed.

  8. Do not drink alcohol the day before an interview. You may not think so, but it shows. It may affect your eyes, skin pallor and especially your wits.

  9. If a psychological test is given, answer the questions honestly. Do not try to outguess the questions and don’t worry too much about the results. The interview is where the employment decision is made.

  10. NEVER make negative remarks about another company or a former supervisor. Such remarks are considered in poor taste and will not enhance your chances

For Women:

A suit or dress with a jacket is appropriate.

If you carry a briefcase, don’t carry a purse. There may be an interview panel. You don’t want to juggle luggage to shake hands.

Wear low heel shoes. Higher heels are regarded in the workplace. Avoid fabrics that wrinkle, i.e. linen. Stay away from everything low- cut or tight. Do not overdo the make-up.

For Men: Avoid loud colors and fads. Ties with a paisley or quiet pattern are fine. Conservative stripe is also okay. Stick to traditional colors.

Blue or gray suits are best. White shirts are the safest. Black or dark brown shoes with plain calf- length, dark colored socks are appropriate.


The preliminary or first interview is conducted for on- campus recruitment. The purpose is to weed out unacceptable candidates. This interview runs about 30 minutes. The interviewer(s) will gather enough information about you to determine whether you’ll be asked to a second interview.

Preliminary interviews usually involve one or two people but be prepares for a panel interview. Don’t be intimidated by the number of people. Concentrate on the interview; take time to answer their questions and to ask your own.

The typical format consists of:

  1. Exchange of greetings, explanation of the interview process verification of data outlined in your resume.

  2. The first series of questions will usually allow some flexibility, i.e. Tell me about your work experience. Later, the questions become more specific: Why are you interested in this particular position? A combination of questions will help the interviewer(s) determine if you match their company needs.

  3. The interviewer(s) will than ask if you have any questions. This is your opportunity to find out if the company and position meet your needs. It’s o.k. to ask any questions.

  4. The interviewer(s) usually explains what happens after the initial interview. You may be given company literature.

  5. The day after the interview, you should write and mail your “thank- you letters. A section on thank- you letters is included in this booklet.

Second Interview

The Interview(s) now believes you are an acceptable candidate. He/she is looking at how well you might fit into the company’s workforce.

Second interviews are usually conducted at the employer’s place of business. However, they may be held off- site: A restaurant, hotel or airport.

Employer’s Office- The interviewer(s) may prefer a one-on-one format or might be joined by one or more Department Managers or Supervisors.

Off- Site - You may be invited to a lunch or dinner interview. Interviews of this type are usually held in a nice restaurant with a quiet atmosphere. Be sure to arrive early so you can freshen up and look your best.

Order something light and easy to eat. Never order alcohol. You need a clear head and professional demeanor. If you have any doubts regarding dining etiquette, ask a friend or review a book on the subject. Don’t smoke under any circumstances. If you are a non-smoker, do not criticize smokers.

The interview(s) will direct the discussion. He/she is interested in you. What movies/books you like. Do you fish, ski, etc. Whenever possible, avoid partisan politics, religion or controversial issues. Don’t allow the location and relaxed atmosphere make you over confident of forget you are an interview. Be natural and pleasant.

Combination Interview/Tour- Take time to scout the surrounding area before your appointment. Note the type of business in the ear. Are there competitors near by, etc. Your formal visit may begin with a welcome and brief description of the interview/tour. The tour may include an invitation to a management training session, perhaps a tour of the production area. The visit usually closes with a final meeting in the interviewer(s) office.

Airport/Hotel- While unusual, interviews are sometimes conducted at airports of hotels. Wherever the location, just follow the general guidelines.


In addition to self- awareness and employer research, the way you present yourself is a key factor in successful interviewing. The employer has a right to expect that you have interest in, and knowledge of your field. The WAY you say something is an important as WHAT you say; observe general courtesies and be aware of non- verbal cues. Remember, the more you know, the more confidant you will feel. Things to consider:

  1. Self- Concept Clear goals, realistic assessment of strengths and limitations.

  2. Communication Skills Verbal and non-verbal interaction, which demonstrates the ability to work with others.

  3. Leadership Potential Demonstrated leadership experience.

  4. Patterns of Achievement Consistent evidence of growth and progress demonstrated by the ability to learn, and specific results.

  5. Problem- Solving Skills Analytical ability and “ trouble- shooting, skills.

  6. Personality Enthusiasm, cheerfulness, flexibility, and a sense of humor.

DO NOT ASK ABOUT SALARY/BENEFITS. Some interviewers may indicate a salary range for entry level positions. Usually, salaries are discussed at subsequent interviews.

Your Questions

Sometime during the interview, the employer is going to ask you if you have any questions. Of course human nature being what it is, many people just can’t think of anything until after they leave. Here are a few possibilities for questions: But remember, its o.k. not to have prepared questions.

  1. Do you offer a training program? If so, please describe the type of training provided, i.e. formal, self-paced, on-the-job, combination, etc.
  2. Do you offer professional development programs/seminars?
  3. What is the typical career path for an entry-level position in my field?
  4. What are the company’s growth plans for the future?
  5. When will a decision be made on this position?

Remember, you want the employer to close the interview with positive thoughts about you.

Updated on by