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Interview Checklist

Before the interview

  • Thoroughly research the organization. Research your industry, company, the interviewer, and the job itself.
  • Use the Big Interview software to practice your interview answers and prepare strong responses
  • Meet with a Career Counselor, if possible, to conduct a mock interview and request constructive feedback. This fosters professional growth.
  • When practicing your interview answers, create original planned responses. Make lists of your skills, experiences and education, you can use your resume as a guide to build your interview story.
  • Develop a list of questions for the interview team. A good set of questions indicates to the hiring manager that you are interested in the job. Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. You want to make sure this is a good fit, just as much as they do.
  • Get familiar with your interview day plan. Know where you are parking, the office location, print extra copies of your resume and cover letter. Know the type of interview being conducted, and call or email to confirm your interview time.
  • Charge your phone (directions) and print out directions to the interview (just in case). If possible, drive/ride to the interview location in advance.
  • Plan your attire. Always dress business professional. You may remove a suit jacket or gently roll up your sleeves, if you find yourself in a more casual environment. Remember you can always dress down an outfit (remove a dress coat, earrings), but you can never dress up (add a blazer, professional dress pants, suit). Try on your outfit and trouble shoot wardrobe malfunctions in advance.
  • Think positive, you have done your preparation and you know your answers. Visualize yourself going to the interview, during the interview and after the interview. Think about the confidence, poise and strength you will exude.
  • Practice good self-care. Eat well, drink water and sleep well 24-48 hours before an interview. Practice any time consuming selfcare prior to interview day (nails, hair etc.).

During the interview

  • Dress to impress. Bathe or shower on interview day, practice good hygiene and limit scents/cologne/perfumes. (Some people are sensitive to smells, and although a scent may not offend you, it could offend someone else). Do not risk your interview.
  • Pack: Extra resumes, umbrella, breath mints/ lozenges, water bottle. Have your professional padfolio stocked with paper and more than one pen. Bring business cards and remember to bring your list of questions for the interview team.
  • Arrive 10 minutes early. If you are running late, plan to call the organization in advance. Best advice; do not be late to an interview. Tardiness sets a negative tone for the interview. Interview schedules are often back-to-back and you do not want to cut into someone elseʼs time slot.
  • Make a good first impression. Greet the front desk person graciously and introduce yourself. Complete any job applications or questionnaires legibly and thoroughly.
  • Introduce yourself to the hiring team with confidence. Smile genuinely, make eye contact and a firm handshake (be mindful of accidentally shaking a hand too hard). Articulate during your introduction. Refrain from chewing gum.
  • Greet the interviewer with professional etiquette. Refer to the person by their title (if appropriate use, Ms. Mr. Dr. Chief, Deputy, etc.) and last name.
  • Seat yourself when offered a chair. Watch for the non-verbal “cues” of others. Be aware of your body language, sit straight and be engaged/attentive. Avoid bouncing knees and pen clicking.
  • Avoid telling jokes, negativity, filler words (um, but, you know, you guys) and controversial issues.
  • Speak clearly and with confidence. Show your enthusiasm for the company and the position.
  • Turn your cell phone off, or set it to silent. You should not answer your phone or text during an interview.
  • Make good eye contact with the interviewer and actively engage in the interview. Speak to your resume and use examples of your previous experiences to relate to the job or organization.
  • Pro tip: Avoid smoking, even beforehand smoke smells linger.
  • Be competent and confident, not aggressive and not desperate.
  • Be sincere and give full answers/facts with examples, not a simple yes or no.
  • Refrain from saying anything negative about a supervisor, co-worker a company or a situation. Avoid discussing any family or personal issues.
  • Highlight your achievements, never lie.
  • Demonstrate your company research when answering interview questions.
  • Pausing to think before you answer a question is acceptable. Ask the interviewer to, “please repeat the question” which allows more time to think.
  • Stress what you will offer the company, not what the company will teach/offer/give you.
  • Do not ask about: salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after you receive a job offer.
  • Always ask the questions you prepared prior to the interview. This indicates that you are serious about your interest in the job and in the company.
  • At the end of the interview, reiterate your interest in the job and the company. Inquire about the next steps in the hiring process.
  • Say a genuine thank you and shake each person’s hand, ask for the hiring manager/ committee’s business cards. At the end of the interview, you may also discretely ask the front desk person for assistance in spellings, names and titles if necessary.

After the interview

  • Write down any retrospective thoughts/notes after the interview, this will aide in remembering important details/forgotten questions.
  • Write thank you letters via email to each person who interviewed you. Thank youʼs are sent within 24 hours of the interview. Pro tip: pre-select/pre-draft thank you letters in your email to expedite this process. Ensure that your thank you is sincere and applicable to your interview experience. Stress your interest and enthusiasm for the position and always thank the committee for their time.
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