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Prepare for an Interview

You did all of the right things: earned good grades, completed a great internship, and developed solid leadership skills. You put your fingers to the keys and created a strong resume that showcases your skills and experiences to potential employers. Now your hard work is being rewarded with several upcoming job interviews.

The job offers are in sight, but you still need to put the finishing touches on your interviewing skills. Interviews can be stressful, but being well-prepared can ease the process. It’s important to be confident and present your best, professional self. To make sure you’re prepared, request a practice interview with a career counselor.

Common Interview Questions 

Some interviews take place over lunch or dinner, which can pose their own unique challenges.

Brush Up On Your Dining Etiquette

Interview Time Is Show Time

Want to tell a potential employer that you’re creative? A problem solver? Flexible?

Instead of describing yourself as a “self-starter,” tell a story about how you took action when you saw an issue that needed to be fixed.

Don’t say you are “flexible”—tell the hiring manager about a change in your job (or schoolwork demands) and what you did to deal with the change.

Well-worn phrases won’t help you get the job, but concrete examples will!

Don’t say  
The story you need to tell 

Highly qualified

Highlight your accomplishments in previous jobs. Emphasize your specific skills and note any certifications you have earned.

Hard worker

Explain exactly how you've gone the extra mile for your job. For instance, did you regularly meet tough deadlines, handle a high volume of projects, or tackle tasks outside your job description?

Team player

Provide examples of how you worked with colleagues or individuals in other departments to meet an objective or complete a project.

Problem solver

Highlight a difficult situation you encountered and how you handled it.

Flexible

Describe how you responded to a major change at work (or in your schoolwork) or dealt with the unpredictable aspects of your job.

People person

Can you offer examples of your strong communication skills? Can you describe how you’ve worked with co-workers and customers?  

Self-starter

What can you contribute immediately to the company or to the department you work in? Describe how you took action when you saw an issue that needed to be fixed.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

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