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The ability to interview effectively is typically not a talent that we are born with, but rather it is a skill that we can develop. If it is important for you to be successful finding work or an internship, you will want to master the three “P’s” of interviewing: Preparation, Practice and Post-Interview Review. Your ability to communicate effective while managing your nervousness will play a significant role in achieving your job/internship goals.

Preparation - This is the research stage:

  • Know yourself (your career interests, why you like the employer, why you want the position, your strengths and your resume backwards and forwards
  • Know the organization (their web site!)
  • Know the field or industry (via online and print resources)
  • Know the position (consider carefully the position description and discuss questions with a Career Development Center staff member)
  • Know the questions that you want to ask
  • Further details regarding effective interview preparation can be found in the following handout: Preparing for Your Interview

Effectively manage your interview prep information and your job search through the online resource: Interview Tools

Practice – This phase is instrumental in helping you develop the confidence and skills that are needed to communicate effectively what you can offer a specific employer.

Effective interviewing involves the following core skills and approach:

  • Clear verbal communication (speak at an even pace; do not ramble or give too much detail)
  • Positive non-verbal communication (maintain confident eye contact and body posture)
  • Demonstrated interest in the job (expressed both in words and facial expression)
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Engaged interaction throughout the interview, including questions at the end of the meeting

After you do the research and learn about effective interview behavior, develop your interview skills by reviewing sample interview questions and practicing the answers aloud; then take advantage of the following resources to practice and refine your interviewing skills:

  • Mock Interview: call our office to schedule a mock interview with Dale Austin (full time options, health professions/graduate school) or Sarah McCoy (for intern roles).
  • Feedback Fridays: practice interviews with area hiring officials

Post-Interview Review – following your interview, it is strongly recommended that you do the following:

  • Debrief what occurred during your interview, noting key issues addressed, important points that you made, stumper questions to prepare for in the future, as well as the organization’s time table for a decision
  • Send a thank you note, either via email or handwritten on stationary; see our Job Search Correspondence handout for ideas and format example.

Potential Interview Questions Asked by Employers

Additional Resources:

Case Interviews

Colgate Interview Presentation