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Interviewing Tips


A successful interview depends very heavily upon making a good first impression.  

With the exception of your written application and your visible presence, the interviewer knows nothing about who you are or what kind of skills you have.  Combine that with the fact that your interviewer has a limited amount of time to spend with you, and it is easy to see that a good first impression is critical.

The following do's and don'ts may be simple in nature but they each are important reminders if you hope to make a good first impression and land the employment opportunity of your choice.  Read them over several times leading up to your interview and once again before departing for it.  Good Luck!!

Do's... 

  • Try to find out a little about the department that will be interviewing you.  Information may be obtained by looking in your student handbook, accessing the department’s web page, or by asking your adviser or an upper-class student.
  • Dress appropriately in nice and tidy casual wear or even a little more formally.
  • Exercise good personal hygiene.
  • Be on time or even five minutes early!  Timeliness is essential for every employment position.
  • Attend the interview alone.
  • When you first meet the interviewer, demonstrate self-confidence by making immediate eye contact, greeting the interviewer by his/her name, and offering a hand shake.
  • Wait for the interviewer to ask you to be seated before doing so.
  • Be enthusiastic and friendly; demonstrate your desire to be employed.
  • Think about and be prepared to talk openly about yourself: what kinds of things do you like and dislike, what do you do in your free time, why you are looking for employment ("job experience" and "enjoy helping others" are good answers; "need to make money" is not), what kinds of skills you can contribute to the department. 
  • Make direct eye contact with the interviewer while you are speaking to him/her and while s/he is speaking to you.
  • Emphasize skills and past employment experiences that are specific to the position for which you are interviewing.
  • Thank the interviewer for the opportunity to speak with him or her.  If the position was not yet offered to you, reinforce your desire to have the position and ask the interviewer when you might hear back from him or her.

Don'ts... 

  • Smoke or chew gum or candy.
  • Slouch or fidget in your seat.
  • Speak or act "overly casual."
  • Wear short shorts or dress scantily.
  • Ask about wages, time off, or other benefits.  This information eventually will be provided to you.

 

Remember:  Making a good first impression is critical.  The job is yours to gain or lose over other applicants so present your best effort!  Don’t forget to smile!

 

  • Student Employment Program
  • c/o Career and Professional Development Center
    Pratt Hall, Suite 302
    201 Pratt Drive
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2235
  • Fax: 724-357-4079
  • Office Hours
  • Monday, Thursday, and Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday
  • 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. (while classes are in session)
  • Office hours vary during semester breaks and during the summer. Please contact the office for hours of operation during these times.