Interview Basics | Illegal Questions | Practice Interviewing | Interview Preparation | Phone/Skype Interviews | Informational Interviews

Feeling stressed thinking about an upcoming interview? You are not alone. There are ways to combat this, though, and Career Services is here to help. Below are some interview basics, practice tips, sample questions, group interview information, explanations regarding different kinds of interviews as well as phone and Skype interview etiquette.

Interview Basics

  • Bring copies of your resume to the interview (there may be more than one interviewer)
  • Dress for success - check out our Pinterest boards to view samples of interview attire as well as how to create these styles on a budget.
  • Do your homework! Make sure to research the company/organization to which you are interviewing with
  • Look over sample questions and think about potential answers
  • Read behavior based interview tips for strategies on how to answer questions
  • See group interview skills for strategies when interviewing with multiple candidates or a panel of interviewers

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Legal and Illegal Questions

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a job applicant because of his or her race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. See the Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website.

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Practice Interviewing

Career Services offers the opportunity to practice interview with a Career Counselor. Practice interviews typically last 15-20 minutes and your Career Counselor will provide you with feedback on your practice interview. Career Services has the ability to videotape practice interviews so you may view your own interview, which is a helpful way to gain insight about your interviewing and non-verbal skills. You can schedule an appointment for a practice interview by calling Career Services scheduling line: 970-351-2127. 

How to Prepare for the Practice Interview:

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Interview Preparation

You are Offered the Interview, Now What?

You have been offered an interview. That’s great! Congratulations. Smile to yourself and know your resume and cover letter did well. There is still work to do, though.

Day Before:

  • Know where the interview is and print out directions.
  • Make sure what you are going to wear is cleaned and pressed.
  • Print out multiple copies of your resume.
  • Go over the basic questions and review information about the company and job description.
  • Get to bed at a decent hour. You need to be well rested.

Day of:

  • Have a good breakfast but do not fill up too much. You do not want to be sleepy.
  • Make sure you have copies of your resume printed out.
  • Allow enough time to drive to the interview site, find parking, walk to the site, etc. If you arrive early, take this time to review the company information, job description, and your answers or relax and breathe.
  • No matter where you are, whether on the highway driving to the interview, in the parking lot, in the elevator or in a lobby, be on your best behavior. You never know who may be in the car next to you and what influence the seemingly random person in the elevator may have.

After the Interview:

  • Think about the interview you just had. How was it? What might you do differently next time?
  • Send a thank you e-mail or letter within the next 24-hours.
  • Take a big sigh of relief. You did well!

Group & Panel Interviews

There are 2 types of group interviews:

  •  Type 1: includes other job candidates and one or more interviewers in the same room.                                  
  • Type 2: is called a panel group interview or panel interview conducted by an interviewing panel.

Group Interview Skills

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Phone/Skype Interviews

Sometimes a phone or Skype interview is used as a preliminary interview before being invited onsite. It can also be used to replace an onsite interview, especially for distance interviews.

Some helpful tips include:

  • Do your research as you would if you were going to be onsite
  • Know who is calling who ahead of time and when
  • Be aware of time zone differences
  • Make sure the interviewer has your correct phone number or Skype information
  • Set up and include their contact name immediately to your Skype to ensure no problems exist the day of the interview
  • Review sample questions and think about potential answers
  • Read behavior based interview tips for strategies on how to answer questions
  • Be sure to use a dependable phone line/internet connection
  • Be in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed or interrupted
  • Allow for a longer pause after the interviewer asks a question to prevent interruptions of dialogue and provide space for follow-up questions
  • More information on Skype Interview Etiquette

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Informational Interviews

Informational Interviews are conversations with individuals who work for the programs, jobs, or organizations in which you are interested. Informational Interviews help you:

  • Gather information about an organization, job, and related professional concerns
  • Confirm your understanding of the requirements and daily operations of the job and organization
  • Learn about the professional language and culture of the job and organization
  • Create contacts and build relationships with people in your career field
  • Learn to present yourself more effectively in future job interviews
  • Gain self-confidence

To further discuss Informational Interviews or to gain assistance in setting up, preparing for, and completing an Informational Interview, set up an appointment with a Career Counselor.

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