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 California State University, Fullerton



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Interview Preparation Tips

Before The Interview:
  • Have correct directions and plan accordingly for traffic and parking time
  • Always know ahead of time who will be conducting the interview
  • Ask ahead of time what type of interview format will be used (individual, panel, lunch, etc.)
  • Research the company, the position, and the industry (minimum two hours)
  • Memorize resumé
  • Make sure interview clothes fit well and are clean and pressed
  • Practice. Schedule a mock interview with the Career Center to help you prepare
Day Of The Interview:
  • Dress to impress
  • Always arrive 15 minutes early
  • Be nice and courteous to everyone
  • Bring extra copies of resumé and a list of references in a portfolio with notepad and pen
During the Interview:
  • Have a firm handshake
  • Always remember to smile and show enthusiasm
  • Consistently make good eye contact with all interviewers
  • Be prepared with a 60 second commercial
  • Limit responses to no more than 2-3 minutes per question
  • Know strengths and weaknesses
  • Be prepared to identify specific skills as they relate to the job
  • Be prepared to answer questions about work style
  • Provide examples that illustrate or demonstrate a specific skill or function
  • Be ready to handle situational/behavioral questions utilizing the STAR (situation, task, action, result) approach
  • Always ask informative questions at the end of the interview
  • Ask about the next steps in the interview process
  • Remember to shake everyone's hand and thank them
After the Interview:
  • Send a thank you letter to all interviewers
  • Follow-Up with the employer
Dress Accordingly:
  • No excess jewelry
  • Neatly styled hair
  • No excess makeup
  • No excessive perfume
  • Dress shirt
  • Jacket
  • Long skirt
  • Neat, trimmed nails
  • Small portfolio
  • Skin-toned nylons
  • Close-toed shoes
  • No spike heels
  • Clean-cut hairstyle
  • Clean shaven face
  • No excessive cologne
  • Deodorant
  • Dark colored suit
  • Collared dress shirt
  • Subdued tie
  • No excess jewelry
  • Small portfolio
  • Dress slacks
  • Black dress shoes & socks
  • Belt, shoes and socks should match
The qualities many interviewers value in a candidate include:
  • Being well prepared for the interview
  • Showing enthusiasm and expressing a willingness to work and learn on the job
  • Honest, genuine answer to questions during the interview, rather than overconfident or arrogant attitudes
  • Knowledge of the firm/organization and of the industry
  • High energy level
  • The ability to deal with other workers
  • The ability to accept criticism and grow and learn from errors Interview Checklist - Questions to ask yourself if the interview went well.
  • Did you arrive on time or a few minutes early?
  • Were you appropriately dressed?
  • Did you smile and greet the interviewer by name?
  • Were you able to mention your skills and strong points?
  • Did you show interest in working for the company?
  • Did you answer most questions thoughtfully and completely instead of with "yes" or "no" responses?
  • Did you stay on track and not ramble on about unrelated issues?
  • Did you ask the interviewer all you needed to know about the job?
  • Did you come prepared with reasons why you want to work for the company, reasons why the employer should hire you, and questions that indicated a genuine interest in learning more about the firm?
  • Do you know what the next step is?