Presenting Yourself

  Interviewing      

(Click for an interviewing exercise)

No one is born knowing how to interview; it is an acquired skill. Our interviewing guide (link) and practice interviews can assist you in learning how to present yourself in the best way possible to a potential employer, graduate school program or fellowship. However, just reviewing our interviewing information is not enough. It is very important that you prepare and practice your interview technique before your actual interview. Be sure to attend an interview preparation workshop and schedule a practice interview with the Career Services Office.

What Employers Want

Let's begin by looking at the top 10 qualities employers seek:

  1. Communication Skills

  2. Honesty and integrity

  3. Teamwork

  4. Interpersonal Skills

  5. Strong work ethic

  6. Motivation and initiative

  7. Flexibility

  8. Problem-solving skills

  9. Technical skills

  10. Organizational Skills

Your interview preparation should include examples from experiences where you demonstrated these qualities.

Most interviewers will use behavioral style questions (past behavior is a good predictor of future success) to get at these qualities. For example: "By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations and environments." (interpersonal skills).

Here is another behavioral interview style question: "What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision?" (analytical or problem solving skills). Begin by citing a past situation that relates to the question. Can you talk about a time when you defined a problem, how you planned the solution, what obstacles you encountered, and the outcome? Tell what you did specifically. Your answer should contain these parts: Situation, Task, Action, and Result or the STAR method.

Practice Interviews

We encourage students who are searching for internships and jobs, or who are interviewing for admission into competitive graduate and professional programs, to consider signing up for a practice interview with a Career Services staff or crew member. Practice interviews are a way to both practice and receive feedback in a safe, supportive environment.

A practice interview will help you:

 

Practice interview steps: