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Interview Tips

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The Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) has created checklists of several things to consider in the days and hours leading up to your interview that will help set you up for success.  We've also listed some considerations for the days after the interview.  Call our office at (270)-745-3095 or email us at CareerHelp@wku.edu if you would like additional guidance, have questions, or would like to schedule a Practice Interview.

The Days before:

  • Job listing:  Review the job listing and the desired qualifications, qualities, and skills.  This will help you focus on your strengths in your responses to the interview questions. 

  • Resume:  Review your resume and the items you want to highlight or focus on in the interview and prepare for possible interview questions.  It’s also important to make a few copies (at least three) of your resume to bring with you on the day of the interview. 

  • Reference list:  If you haven’t already, notify your references that you’re going to an interview and they may receive inquiries.  This also allows you the opportunity to verify that you have up-to-date contact information for each individual.  Also, make a few copies (at least three) of your reference list to bring to the interview. 

  • Research:  Research both the company or organization and the interviewer, when known.  Understanding an organization’s culture and vision as well as the interviewers’ background will help you demonstrate several things: your enthusiasm about the position, how your values and goals align with the employer, and that you’re informed about both the company and position.

  • Potential questions:  Although you can’t be sure what types of questions you will be asked in an interview, it’s always best to review common interview questions and practice answers to them.  Also, prepare a few questions to ask the interviewer about anything your research didn’t answer.  Having these items prepared ensures that you go into the interview with a clear vision of what you want to talk about. 

  • Attire:  For many people, figuring out what’s proper interview attire can be difficult.  Our Dress the Part infographics (for men and women) demonstrate what you could aim for with your appearance and outline what you could avoid.  It’s also a good idea to plan your outfit a few days in advance—you don’t want to find that forgotten stain on your shirt as you’re walking out the door. 

  • Location:  For in-person interviews, review directions and familiarize yourself with the location ahead of time.  For long-distance interviews (via telephone, Skype, etc.), check that your phone or computer is working properly and is fully charged.  Also make sure that you have a well-lit, quiet place to complete the interview. 

The Day of:

  • Copies:  Bring at least three copies of your resume, your cover letter, and your references in a black folder or portfolio.

  • Electronics:  If you can avoid it, don’t bring any electronics into the building with you.  If you must bring a cell phone or other electronic device, turn it off completely before you enter the building.  

  • Punctuality:  In this case, punctuality means being early.  This will give you time to check your appearance and “breathe” prior to the interview.  You should also use this time to look around the lobby/waiting area and form a first impression.

  • Appreciation:  Remember to say “Thank-you” and to express your enthusiasm and appreciation for the opportunity.

The Day(s) after:

  • Appreciation:  Remember to reiterate your enthusiasm and appreciation by sending a "Thank you" letter or email within 24 hours of the end of the interview, depending on how quickly the employer's search process is proceeding.

  • Review:  A few hours or days after the interview, complete a quick assessment that outlines how you think the interview went:  list both what you did well and how you might improve in the future.

  • Negotiations:  Prepare for the negotiations process by contacting a Career Coach with the CCPD.

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 Last Modified 9/8/17