During the Interview
Whether you are having a phone or Zoom interview, arrive at your chosen location 10-15 minutes early so you will not feel rushed when it is time to talk.
Interviews generally follow this structure:
- Light conversation to put you at ease.
- Try to build a rapport with the interviewer, but be very wary of using humor.
- Not everyone has the same sense of humor, so it is best to hold back on the jokes until you start working at the organization.
- Interviewer describes the organization, office environment and position
- Listen carefully! You can ask more about this at the end of the interview, but you do not want to ask them to repeat something they have already said.
- This is an appropriate time to take quick notes on the information the interviewer gives you about the company. Be sure to maintain eye contact and do not frantically scribble on your notepad. Just write a word or phrase to remind you of what was said.
- Employer will ask questions about your skills, education, training and work history
- Be selective about the experiences you present. Always emphasize the positive, but never exaggerate or falsify information.
- Be confident in your responses, even if you are asked about a skill you do not possess (Ex. “I have not worked with that particular computer program, but I have worked with similar programs such as ________ and I feel confident that I can learn this program in minimal time”).
- The interviewer will usually ask you if you have any questions
- See our list under the Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview section below for examples of questions that you could ask the interviewer.
- You want to have a potential list of questions ready – when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. You do not want to say no.
- There is also the potential that the interviewer will not ask you if you have any questions. However, you should have at least one or two questions prepared to ask anyway, because this will reflect well on you.
- Sincerely thank the interviewer for considering you. Reiterate your interest in the position.
After the Interview
Within 24 hours after the interview, it is important to send a thank you email to the interviewer, in which you reiterate your interest in the position.
- If you need guidance on what to include in the email, refer to the Professional Correspondence page in the Resource Manual.
If you haven’t heard back from the organization for 2-3 weeks after interviewing with them, you can send a follow-up email to inquire about the status of the position.