Step One: Prepare Yourself
Dress appropriately. What you wear and how you are groomed create significant impressions on others. When in doubt, go conservative. This is a professional meeting, not a social event.
Business Formal means a suit in a subdued color.
Men should wear a tie, dark socks, highly polished shoes (wingtips or similar). (Example)
For women, pantsuits are appropriate, but if wearing a skirt it should be at or below the knees. Women should wear low heels (2” max) and pantyhose. (Example)
Business Casual accepts khakis, trousers, collared shirt (men) without tie; women may wear blouses or knit tops.
Grooming: For men, clean shaven is best. Women should not wear heavy makeup. Never wear cologne or other scents. Avoid too much jewelry or other distracting accessories. Tattoos should be hidden.
Concerned about finding professional clothing? Did you know that the Career Center offers FREE professional clothing to current students? Click here for more information!
Still have questions on appropriate professional attire. Check out this resource.
Step Two: Prepare Your Responses
Think about how you want to express yourself. What are your key strengths? Skills? What experiences have you had that you can use as examples to show what you can bring to the job?
Most interviewers will be interested in three things:
- what you know (education)
- what you’ve done that they can use (transferable skills)
- what type of employee you’ll be (team fit)
Try to prepare your answers so they fall into these categories.
The Career Center Resource Library has many books on interviewing strategies, with literally hundreds of "questions to expect." We also offer mock interviews to help you practice before your big day. Call us for information at 570-662-4133.
Step Three: Research the Organization
The more you know about the organization, the less time the interviewer must spend explaining it to you, which means you’ll have more time to sell yourself. You can get a lot of information about the organization by doing internet searches, talking with current employees, or asking the organization to send you an information packet.
Step Four: The Big Day
Arrive early. Find a restroom, and check to make sure you look great. Pop a breath mint.
Smile and clearly introduce yourself to the receptionist. Remember, everyone you meet today will have an impression of you. Show respect and friendliness.
The Handshake Test. Yes, it really does matter. Limp, soft or feeble suggests that you lack confidence and presence. Don’t worry about gender issues—men and women shake hands.
Extras. Did you bring extra copies of your resume? Your portfolio? A note pad with questions you want to ask? A decent pen? Did you bring all this in a worn backpack or a classy portfolio binder?
Stay calm. Breathe deeply to ease your nerves. Focus on the question, not on yourself. Don’t over talk. Stay on topic.
Step Five: Follow Through
Within 24 hours, you must send a thank you note to your interviewer. This is business etiquette and it is something far too many people don’t do. It can make a huge difference for you. Ten days to two weeks after you interview, if you haven’t heard anything, call the interviewer to find out what the status is. Ask if they would like more information from you. Be helpful, not demanding.
More Helpful Resources:
50 standard interview questions you should expect
Common questions you CAN and SHOULD ask during the interview
How to Lose the Job
Unusual Interview Situations
Preparing for a Teaching Interview
Monster.com - Interview
Traditional Employment Interview Questions