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Interview Preparation

Congratulations! You’ve been selected for the job interview. Time to prepare!interviewing

Conduct Your Research

It is essential that you prepare yourself for the interview by doing research on the organization. Interviewers will want to know why you want to work for them as opposed to working for some other organization. You should have knowledge of their services, products, or goals before going into the interview. This is a must for on-campus interviews. SU also recommends that you research the industry for which you are interviewing (e.g., banking, insurance, advertising,non-profits).

A few good resources for conducting your research include:

  • The employer's homepage (if available) - most employers have a website, and you can be certain that they will expect you to have viewed it!
  • College professors and people already working in the field.
  • Stock brokerage firms for annual reports.
  • Online career research tools such Wetfeet (available through SU website).
  • Job Choices Magazine for basic information on organizations which hire college graduates Industry-related magazines or journals. (In SU Career services Library)
  • Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, Business Periodicals Index, F & S Index of Corporations and Industries for magazine articles about an organization, products, or services. Many of these are on SU's website.

Practice Makes Perfect

  • Schedule a practice interview with an SU Career Counselor.  We can tape it if you wish.
  • Drop by SU's Career Services Office to get last-minute tips from a counselor.
  • Make a list of questions you want to ask about the organization.
  • Rehearse answers to questions that employers are likely to ask you.

The Day of Your Interview

  • Dress appropriately! Appearance is the first thing you communicate to others. A suit for both women and men is almost always appropriate for all types of interviews. Visit What to Wear for more detailed tips on interview attire.
  • Know the name of the interviewer. Be ready to greet him/her by a last name and be prepared for a handshake
  • Bring a pen and portfolio-style folder containing extra copies of your resume. Don’t bring your book bag to the interview.
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early. You never want to start off an interview with an excuse for being late.
  • Relax and be yourself because you are great!  Give it everything you have.

Use the STAR Technique to answer behavioral questions. See STAR Technique below:

The STAR Technique for Answering Questions

Star Outline

S Situation

Detail the Background.  Provide a Context.  Where?  When?  Describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.


T Task

Describe the challenges and expectations.  What needed to be done or accomplished?  Why?


A Action

Elaborate your Specific actions.  What did you do?  How?  Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did -- not the efforts of the team.  What tools did you use?


R Results

Explain the results you achieved.  What did you accomplish?  What did you learn?  Quantify when possible.

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