Building Your Interview Skills

Although interviews are formal meetings with employers, every face-to-face interaction you have with a potential employer or staff is part of the interview process. This includes everything from a meal or reception to an information session. Because interviewing is a skill, the more you develop it, the better you’ll become.

  • Attend an interviewing workshop to learn the basics of interviewing, strategize for dealing with the unexpected in interviews, and become familiar with the types of questions you may experience.
  • Use this interviewing worksheet to get to know yourself, the field, and the employer — and put it all together to form an agenda, that is, a list of questions you can ask your interviewer.
  • Review potential interview questions and responses:
  • Know your rights. There are areas that employers cannot inquire about. Learn how you can address illegal questions.

Keep in mind that not all interviewers are skilled in interviewing, which is why it’s important for you to have your own agenda. If you feel that items from your agenda have not been addressed during your interview, when asked if you have any questions or if you have anything else to add, bring them up.

Dress for Success

First impressions are not absolute, but they do matter. What you wear to an interview will help form an employer’s overall impression of you:

  • Do you take the job seriously?
  • Do you see yourself as a mature professional or a college student with few responsibilities?
  • Do you represent the organization’s image?

These questions are typically assessed within 30 seconds of your interviewer meeting you in person. The goal of dressing for success is to be memorable for your professionalism, not for any specific aspect of your appearance.