Career Action Center at Edmonds Community College
The Interview Process
Before the Interview
- When called for an interview, restate the time and place to be sure you
have recorded it correctly. Ask who the interviewer(s) will be and the format
of the interview.
- Prepare answers to common interview questions, including behavior-based
questions. Practice aloud by yourself or with a friend playing the role of
interviewer. There’s no substitute for practice.
- Decide on five reasons you would be a tremendous asset to this organization.
These are your selling points. Spend time practicing how you will explain
the reasons you are an outstanding candidate.
- Be ready to tell the interviewer why you want to work for this company in
- Identify your top 4-6 strengths and talents. Think of examples of using
the strengths and develop short anecdotes that describe your accomplishments
and contributions. Practice speaking these aloud.
- Create a list of questions you will ask during the interview.
- Research the organization on the Internet or at the library.
- Carefully plan what you will wear to the interview. Avoid trendy clothes,
too much jewelry and heavy scents. All are distracting.
- Allow more time than you think you need to get to the interview. Traffic
may be heavier than you expected. Plan to arrive a few minutes early so you
have time to relax.
- Gather these items to take with you: additional résumé copies,
list of references, samples of your work assembled in a portfolio.
During the Interview
- Smile! Employers hire people they would like to work with. Be likable.
- Let your enthusiasm show. Be excited about what youve accomplished.
- Answer each question in two minutes or less.
- Tell the stories you developed before the interview. Be interesting. Give
specific examples that demonstrate your expertise.
- Ask questions about the job and the organization. Find out about their
problems and challenges.
- Rather than recite your history, emphasize problems solved and contributions
- If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification before you answer
- At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer for his/her time. If
you’d like the job, express your interest. Ask about the selection process
(is there a second interview?) and when a decision will be made.
After the Interview
- Immediately after the interview, make notes on whatever you can remember.
- Review how it went. Make notes on these questions:
- What did I do well? (At least 5 things)
- What things about my background, skills and strengths seemed to interest
- What didn’t go well?
- Things I’ll do differently during my next interview.
- Concerns I have about the position or organization.
- Things I liked about the position and the organization.
- Give yourself a reward. You deserve it. (Have a latté, go for a
walk, see a movie)
- If you gave out your list of references, call each person. Give them information
about the position they can be ready to answer a reference call.
- Send a thank-you letter or email the same day.
- If you don’t hear back by the time the employer promised, it's appropriate
to call and politely ask where the organization is in the decision-making