Students

Some job interviewing tips

Do some “mock” (practice) interviews to build up your interview skills and to have a crisp delivery about your experience. See the March 25, 2019 article, "Doing ‘mock’ or practice job interviews."

Do some research on the position and the company or organization – bring this along on the interview. Maybe ask them some questions related to your research in order to illustrate your interest in their company.

Prepare some questions ahead of the interview and plan to get them answered.

Don’t overdress (or underdress) for the interview.

Be on time and make sure you know how to find the meeting location.

Turn your cell phone off during the interview.

If it's a meal interview, order something easy to eat and don't order alcohol.

Bring along several copies of your resume and references. Listen for items in the job description so that you can relate them to specific things in your background (be concise).

Prepare a script, ahead of time, of the major points that you want to make about your resume (or bring up during the interview).

Focus on your accomplishments and what you think you have to offer.

Stay focused and don't ramble on when answering questions. Watch the interviewer's body language and err on the side of being concise. Ask for clarification on a question, if needed, particularly if you're not sure whether to continue with a longer response. See the Nov. 8, 2017 article, “Sample job interview questions.”

Also, see "Case interview - prep guide" from Accenture Consulting on the UW Career & Internship Center website. (A case interview is focused around a hypothetical case study and how you would approach the problem/project if it is assigned to you.)

Relax and be yourself during the interview. Put the interviewer at ease and show some of your personality. Be professional, but don't be stiff.

Bring along a few (two to three) student project summaries (one to two pages each) to show during the interview. Refer to these projects in your resume. See the May 8, 2018 article, “Student project summary format.”

Listen carefully to any follow-on questions, your response to these will be very important to the interviewer. Plan to take a few notes during the interview and ask about anything you are uncertain about at the end of the interview. At the end of the interview, ask for the job, or for the next step in the process.

Don't accept any job offer until you have all your questions answered. Ask to have a day or two to think about it, and then really think about it before you accept.

Don't ignore issues like benefits, vacation, and continuing education. Avoid conditional jobs or trial-period jobs, if possible.

Never accept any job offer until you have interviewed the person that would be your actual boss, and preferably their boss as well.

Try to have at least two job offers for comparison; but if the first one looks great, don't continue searching and risk losing it.