An employer was so impressed by your resume that they offered you an opportunity to interview. Now it is time to express to the interviewer the knowledge you have gained about yourself and their organization. A successful interview will depend upon your ability to demonstrate a "match" between your qualifications and the needs of the employer.
Applications & Interviews Workbook
Use this comprehensive, 11-step, workbook to help you navigate your job/internship search, prepare for upcoming interviews, and evaluate, negotiate and accept/decline offers.
If you want to impress your interviewer(s) you need to dedicate time and effort to preparing effectively Think about your interests, skills, values, strengths, and goals and how they relate to the employer and position for which you are interviewing. Consider the following:
- Self Knowledge
- Do you clearly explain what you want to do and why?
- Does the explanation hold up to questioning?
- Do you convey your top three strengths (skills, qualities, & knowledge) for the position?
- Do you backup each strength with an example, evidence, or accomplishment?
- Employer Knowledge & Interest
- Do you demonstrate a interest in and basic understanding of the employer (e.g. knowledge of products or services they offer; how the employer compares to others of similar type, size, or location/s)?
- Do you appear to understand the position, its tasks, and requirements?
- Do you seem to have an overall understanding of the general career field in question?
- Initiative & Follow Through
- Are your answers appropriate in length? (about 30-90 seconds)
- Do you stick to the point?
- How are your "non-verbals" (e.g. handshake, eye contact, facial expressions, posture, gestures, smile)?
- Do you speak slowly enough?
- Do you stay poised in answering difficult or stressful questions?
- Keep in mind that employers are looking for someone with:
- A positive attitude
- Strong communication skills
- An ability to be a strong team player
- A neat (professional) appearance
- Knowledge related to the position
- A strong academic background
- Work experience
- Career goals
- A strong work ethic
- A personality that will fit with the organization's culture
- Leadership skills/potential
Instructions for using Optimal Interview (part of Optimal Resume)
1. Create an account with Optimal Resume and log in
2. Select "Create New Interview"
3. Name the Interview (this is for your record only, so name it whatever you'd like)
4. Select Interview Type (e.g. Basic, Technical, Behavioral, Consulting, etc.)
5. Select Format (video recommended)
6. Scroll down and select "Continue Interview"
7. Click on the first video to watch the interviewer ask the question
8. Click on "record answer" to record your response
9. Click on the third video to hear an explanation of the interview question
Additional Interview Prep Resources
What if you could directly question someone actually hiring engineers, without fearing you would make a beginner's blunder? We make it easy, we do the asking for you and serve up the answers, in this podcast series. Check out the other podcasts on career advice and entrepreneurship, too.
Lynda.com offers 2,500 detailed courses with over 80,000 high-quality instructional videos on the latest software, creative, and business skills for people at all experience levels. Learn new, or update your technical and soft (e.g. interviewing, presentation, leadership, communication, etc.) skills.
If you have an upcoming interview or want to practice your interviewing skills, you can sign up for a mock interview.
Please fill out the Mock Interview Preparation Form and return it to the office prior to your interview (or the day of), along with a copy of your resume.
Schedule a Mock Interview Appointment
Undergraduate Students: Sign up for a mock interview with a trained, undergraduate Peer Advisor through our online calendar. This service is for Bachelor of Science students in the College of Engineering only.
Graduate Students: Sign up for a mock interview by calling the front desk (607) 255-5006, or visiting 201 Carpenter Hall.