Alumni Interview Prep

Interviewing doesn't always have to be stressful, and the more prepared you are, the better you will interview. One of the most important considerations in preparing for you interview is to understand what type of interview you will be involved in. Whatever the setting, make sure you are prepared.

Using our comprehensive guide to interviewing, you'll be able to knock it out of the park. Topics in our guide include:

  1. Interviewing 101
  2. Interview Prep
  3. Top 10 Interview Dos and Don'ts
  4. Interview Follow-up
  5. You're Hired!

Interviewing 101

There are many different ways employers choose to interview candidates. Most of the time, it's a series of interviews. The interview process usually goes as follows: phone interview, face to face (possibly several face to face with different levels of people), and hopefully an offer after deliberations.

Popular Types of Interviews

Phone Interviews

  • Be prepared. Even though it is on the phone, you still need to be prepared. Over the phone is just as hard because you have to convince the employer that you deserve an in person interview.
  • No one can see you. It is okay to have notes out, the companies website up, and anything else that you feel will assist you in answering the questions to the best of your ability.
  • Sell yourself. In any stage of the interview process, you continuously have to let the employer know what you can do for them. NOT what they can do for you.

Presentation Interviews

  • Be prepared. You should know your presentation without reading from a PowerPoint or your cards. It is okay to have them for reference, but do not read straight from them.
  • Be confident. Being prepared will help with your confidence. Know what you have to offer.
  • Handouts for your presentation are a good way to show that you are prepared and gives the attendees a takeaway.
  • Dressing in a suit for your presentation will help you standout from the rest as well.

Lunch/Dinner Interviews

  • Some employers may want you to meet them for lunch or coffee. Etiquette is very important when it comes to interviews with food.
  • Turn off your cell phone. There should be no distractions during your interview. It is a different setting than normal, but just as important as one in the office.
  • Actively listen even though you are eating.
  • Do not chew while talking.
  • Browse the menu for moderately priced items and stay away from meals that can be messy.
  • Be polite to all wait staff.

Interview Prep

If you have a computer, laptop, tablet, or even a phone, you can practice interviewing from wherever you are with InterviewStream. The first-round Skype sort of interview is a growing method that is gaining ground on phone interviewing.

In addition to using InterviewStream, we always recommend you practice answering interview questions with someone. Employers consistently mention they want students to have more experience interviewing, and the best way to get professional practice answer interview questions tailored to you, your major, and field is to schedule a practice interview appointment.

Top 10 Interview "Dos" and "Don'ts"

Interview Follow-up

It is always a question on when to follow up with an employer after you have interviewed with them. Should I wait a week, 2 weeks, a few days after? Below are some best practices in regards to when you should contact the employer:

  • Send a thank you email the same day as your phone interview. Quick and simple, thanking the interviewer for their time and you are looking forward to the next steps.
  • Send a thank you letter/card within 24 hours after your in-person interview. You will be fresh on their mind and what you need to say in the letter will be fresh as well.
  • Follow up: If you have not heard from the employer, it is okay to follow up with them via phone or email after a week has passed. If the employers gives you a certain date that you will hear back and you have not heard from him, contact them the day after to follow up.
  • There is thin line between eager and being too eager. You do not want to annoy the employer by constantly contacting them and not giving them a chance to contact you back. You never know what is happening in their office at that time.

You're Hired!

After you've been extended a job offer, a negotiation about salary and benefits is typical. A negotiation is a series of communications (either oral or in writing) that reach a conclusion between the new employee and hiring company. Successful negotiating is planned and requires strategy, presentation and patience. You have many tools available to find different salary ranges. You need to utilize these tools prior to interviewing or negotiating.