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Career & Professional Development Institute

Interviewing Skills

 The interview process is your opportunity to communicate your skills and experience to hiring officials. The interview process involves everything from greeting the hiring official to managing the questions to following up the interview. It is that dynamic interplay between the spoken and unspoken word that, when handled successfully, produces job offers.

This phase of the job search consists of the following activities: 

  • Preparing for the Employment Interview: A successful employment interview will require you to demonstrate some knowledge of the employer/field/position, and to establish that hiring you will be the right decision. Researching the employer and preparing yourself for likely interview questions are vital. Click here for details.
  • The Employment Interview: Your resume has convinced an employer that communicating with you face-to-face, or even over the telephone, is now in order. In either case, however, an employment interview is more than just a conversation, or a question and answer session. Researching and preparing answers are very important, but not enough. Learn interview protocol – the do's and don'ts of successful interviewing. Click here for details.
  • The Post-Interview Follow-up: Your role in the employment search process does not end when you leave the interview room; know what to do next. Click here for details. 

Interview Preparation

  • Once you have scheduled an interview appointment, be sure to record the time, date, and location of your interview. 
  • Research the employer and industry or field by reading appropriate literature, most often available at CPDI, and by visiting employer and other appropriate Web sites. CPDI also stocks some employers' recruiting videos. 
  • Use the information you have gathered to formulate questions for interviewers on available positions, goals of the department/division/organization, professional development opportunities, the "next step" in the interview process, etc. 
  • Attend one of CPDI’s many scheduledInterview and Dress for Success workshops; consult with some of the many published works, several of which are available in The Career Center library, on interviewing techniques, etc.; view interview videos at The Career Center. 

The Employment Interview

  • Confirm your interview appointment with the front desk at The Career Center. 
  • Dress appropriately. If you have not attended a Dress for Success Workshop, and are unsure regarding appropriate interview attire, inquire at CPDI. 
  • Don't be late. Interviews generally take place inNAC 4/146,but we strongly recommend checking in at CPDI at least ten minutes before your scheduled interview time. 
  • After you have entered the interview room, offer the interviewer a firm handshake and pleasant greeting; be seated when you are asked to do so, or at the same time the interviewer takes his or her seat. 
  • Speaking clearly and audibly, be sure to answer all questions succinctly. Elaborate whenever requested, and ask appropriate/relevant questions. 
  • Remember to request the interviewer's business card before leaving the room. 
  • When the interview appears to be over, rise from your seat as the interviewer does so. Be sure to thank him or her for the opportunity to have interviewed for the position(s), and again, offer a firm handshake before leaving. 

The Post-Interview Follow-up

  • Be sure to write a "thank you" letter to your interviewer; you should have requested a business card for just this purpose. Sample letters are available in the self-service area of The Career Center. 
  • Provide feedback to The Career Center regarding your interview experience, as well as information on any second interview, etc. 
  • If you are not contacted regarding a second interview or a decision to hire, please do not expect The Career Center to have any such information, or to contact the recruiter on your behalf; send the recruiter a follow-up letter to communicate your continuing interest in the employer/position. 

Complete a Placement Report (.pdf file) form to inform CPD about any employment offers received and accepted. The resumes of candidates participating in the Resume Referral Program will continue to be referred until The Career Center receives their completed Placement Report, or until candidates otherwise instruct us to cease referring their resume.