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Interviewing Practices


Before you go


Practice interviewing in front of a mirror. Ask yourself questions and practice giving answers out loud. Review sample interview questions.


Be clean and professionally dressed. If possible leave your cell phone in the car or place it on silent.


Know some information about the company so you can ask intelligent questions during the interview. Review the company’s website, search for articles in the news about the company, interview people who already work for the company or their competitor, and research company’s current stock/scores if relevant.

Get there early

Arrive 10‐15 minutes early for the interview. If you are going to be late, call ahead before the actual start time of the interview.

Final Grooming

Check your final appearance in a small make‐up mirror or the washroom.

Waiting Room Behavior

The assistant is probably watching your behavior and will report anything unusual to the boss. Be sure you are acting in a professional way: no sleeping, eating, talking on your cell phone, etc.

If the interviewer is late

If the interviewer is more than 30 minutes late, ask to reschedule the interview.


Opening Moves

Initial Greeting

A firm handshake where the web of your thumb meets the web of the interviewer’s thumb and pump up and down one to two times is appropriate.


Stand up straight during greeting. During interview sit on the edge of the seat to show your enthusiasm.


Be sure you are loud enough to be heard, but not shouting.

Eye Contact

Make good eye contact throughout the entire interview

Distracting Habits

Do not wave your hands too much as you talk. Do not use the word “um” too many times.


Types of Interviews

There are several types of interviews in which you may participate.

Answering Questions

Use the PAR format when answering questions:

  • P ‐ Problem: Give an example of a problem you encountered
  • A ‐ Answer: Explain how you handled it
  • R ‐ Result: Explain the results, specifically how you solved the problem

Review the sample interview questions.

Answering Illegal Questions

Questions Include anything to do with your race, marital/family status, age, nationality, disability, military discharge status, arrest record, affiliations or personal statistics (e.g. height/weight) are illegal. If you are asked an illegal question respond with, “I don’t understand how this relates to the position for which I’m applying. Can you tell me why
you need to know?”

Asking questions

Research the company before you interview to be prepared to ask questions about the company and the position.


Closing the Interview

Summarize at the end

Highlight the key points you want the employer to remember about your skills and experiences.

Ask for the job

Be sure to remind the employer you would like to have the position.

Use the call back close

Ask for the employer’s business card. Tell the employer you will be calling back in a few days to check on the status of the position.

  • Thank the interviewer by name
  • Express interest in the job and organization
  • If you want the job, ask for it
  • Arrange a reason and time to call back
  • Say good‐bye


Following Up

Take notes about the interview

Find a quiet place to write down everything you remember about the interview. Write down the questions you were asked. Write down the name of the employer and anyone else involved in the interview.

Thanks you notes

Send an email thank you note within one hour of the interview. View a sample thank you letter (PDF).

Follow up as promised

Contact the Career and Job Placement Center to make an appointment for a mock interview.

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