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group presenters in interview workshop

Interview Tips from Cornell Engineers

One of the best resources available to help you prepare for interviews are peers who can share their interview experiences and insights with you. Increase your confidence and potential for a successful interview by reviewing the interview tips below, and by continuing the conversation with other Cornell engineering students.

  • If you know the names of your interviewers ahead of time, Google them to learn what they currently do and what they've done.
  • It's not always what you say that matters, it's how you say it; presentation is very important.
  • It's okay to take a minute and think about the question; you don't have to jump right into answering. 
  • Don't embellish or exaggerate your accomplishments or experiences to impress the recruiter.
  • If there is something you want the interviewer(s) to know, make sure you find a way to tell them.
  • Know what makes you qualified: interest, transferable skills, and ability to learn all count. Relevant experience is not always required. Schoolwork or project team experience can show ability and interest.
  • Don't go into too much technical detail unless asked, but be prepared to answer technical questions.
  • Don't be afraid to say you don't know. Explain your thought process and why you don't know the answer.
  • Be able to go through every aspect of your resume flawlessly, including being able to describe each of your work experiences if asked.
  • Research the employer extremely well. Know something specific about the organization that makes it interesting to you and why you want to work there (ask alumni if possible).
  • Make your stories interesting and let them demonstrate why you'd be a good hire. Be unique. Make them remember you.
  • Be yourself. Show that you are relaxed and confident. No fidgeting.
  • Prepare thoughtful questions for your interviewer(s). They will ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview.
  • Prepare examples of leadership and teamwork experiences to share.
  • Match tempo with the interviewer. If they are speaking slowly, try to speak at the same rate.
  • After an interview, send a thank you note to the interviewer and reiterate your interest in and fit for the position.
  • Watch the 10 Good Minutes for Engineers podcasts for interview tips from employers.