Interview Preparation | Practice with InterviewStream | Before the Interview
During the Interview | After the Interview | Follow Up
The interview is the last step of the hiring process and the most important. It offers
both you and the employer the opportunity to meet one another, exchange information
and come to tentative conclusions about "hiring" one another. The interview is a two-way
process. You evaluate the employer while he/she evaluates you.
SCHEDULE A PRACTICE INTERVIEW
What better way is there to prepare for an interview than by practicing your responses
to typical interview questions with a CDO counselor? This is a great way to try out
your answers in a non-threatening environment. Counselors will provide feedback, and
give you some pointers on ways to improve, if necessary. If you wish, we will videotape
your session, so you will have accurate feedback on your non-verbal presentation skills.
GET STARTED NOW! Schedule an appointment for a mock interview.
Have a webcam? Practice at home with InterviewStream (webcams can be signed out at the CDO).
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BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
Preparation is the key to successful interviewing. There are three important elements:
1) Knowing yourself – know your resume inside and out and be able to discuss your qualifications, skills
and abilities, and your personal goals and values. Write down your accomplishments
and prepare concrete and specific examples of these. Anticipate questions that may
be asked of you.
2) Knowing the employer – research the position and the organization thoroughly. Learn as much as you can
by visiting the organization’s website and access any available literature; know the
employer’s services, products and mission. Analyze the position description, matching
your experiences, interests, and abilities to the position. Talk with people who have
worked in similar positions and research the salary range that is typical for the
3) Knowing how your skills, interests and career goals relate to the needs of the employer
– show that you are a good fit for the position. Also make a list of questions to
ask. Your questions may reveal your level of interest in the position, the employer,
and your preparedness for the interview. Ask questions that demonstrate a genuine
interest in and knowledge of the organization and position.
Other important factors include being familiar with the interviewing process and projecting
a professional image.It is a good idea when scheduling an interview with an employer to ask with whom you
will be interviewing, how long should you plan for the interview, and what kind of
format will it follow. This will help you to prepare.
Reminders and Helpful Tips:
- Dress in a professional, conservative and neat manner
- Women: a well-tailored suit with minimal makeup and jewelry
- Men: a well-tailored suit, conservative tie, polished shoes
- Keep cologne to a minimum or don’t wear it at all, it can distract the interviewer
- Review your resume and work history so you are ready to speak about both
- Bring extra copies of your resume
- Arrive 10-15 minutes before the interview
- Maintain good eye contact and be aware of your gestures, facial expressions, posture
and hand movements
- Avoid using slang expressions or improper grammar
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DURING THE INTERVIEW
APPROPRIATE QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES TO ASK IN THE JOB INTERVIEW
Prepare questions beforehand to ask the employer at the end of your interview. These
questions will help to convey your interest and enthusiasm. The following areas may
serve as guidelines for questions:
- Day-to-day responsibilities of position
- Typical career paths/opportunities for advancement
- Performance evaluations - type, by whom, frequency
- Orientation and training for new employees
- History of position
- Strengths and weaknesses of organization
- Major challenges facing organization/field
- Long-range plans for organization/department
- Organizational structure; communication channels
- Management style; philosophy of organization
- Expectations with regard to travel and/or relocation
- Multicultural diversity and sensitivity
- What interviewer likes/dislikes about the organization
- Geographical area – cost of living, housing, schools
- Starting date; hiring process/timeline
- About salary or benefits
- About job pressures, overtime or morale
- Questions that are answered in the company literature or website
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AFTER YOUR INTERVIEW
The Thank You Letter
Take notes after your interview is finished and use them to remind yourself of what
was discussed. Write down everything you feel you handled well and areas for improvement.
Note any information that may be helpful to include in your thank you letter.
- Always get the contact information of everyone involved in the interview process (i.e.,
name, address, title). If you are not sure of names, ask the secretary/receptionist
or ask interviewers for business cards.
- Send a thank you letter within 24-48 hours.
- Type or handwrite the letter. A typed letter is considered the most professional.
In some situations, an e-mail is appropriate if the organization indicated that this
is their preferred method of contact or if there is a quick turnaround time requirement
to fill the position.
- Your letter should be brief (no longer than one page) and include the following:
- Thank the interviewer for his/her time.
- Briefly express your appreciation for the interview and the opportunity to learn more
about the organization.
- Reaffirm your interest and enthusiasm for the position.
- Mention something from your interview to remind the interviewer who you are and reiterate
any important points which were discussed or that you were not able to express during
- Describe in one or two sentences why your skills, experience and background make you
the best applicant.
- If, on the other hand, you discover that you are no longer interested in the position,
it is a professional courtesy to inform the employer of your decision to withdraw
from the selection process. Be sure to thank him/her for the opportunity to learn
more about the organization, but explain that the position does not meet your goals
and/or interests at this time.
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If you do not hear from the interviewer by the date that was promised, something unforeseeable
may have delayed the decision-making process. It is also possible that someone else
was made an offer and has asked for time to make a decision. In any case, it is appropriate
to call the interviewer (unless no phone calls were requested) and inquire about the
status of your candidacy.
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