The interview is one of the most important steps in the job search process. It is your chance to elaborate on how your education, skills, and experience fit what the employer is seeking in a candidate and ultimately gets you the job offer. The keys to interviewing success are knowing yourself, researching the employer, and preparing for and following-up after the interview.
Practice your interviewing skills
Interview Streamis a self-paced online interview practice tool that allows you to build and customize an interview based on your major or area of interest. Once you complete the interview you may complete a self-assessment and send it to Career Services for a staff member to review. The system also has best practice videos from experts.
Need Help? Visit ourStep-by-Step Guideto Interview Stream.
Preparing for the interview
- Be able to discuss your skills, interests, values and goals that relate to the position
- Research the employer and know about their mission, services and products
- Demonstrate that you have the necessary position requirements
- Know what type of interview to expect (i.e. initial screening interview, telephone interview, second/site interview, panel interview)
- Be prepared to respond to common interview questions
- Practice your interview skills through a Mock Interview or Interview Steam
During the interview
Make a good first impression
- Be on time – plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview is to begin
- Maintain eye contact with the interviewer during your greeting and throughout the interview
- Extend a firm handshake and use appropriate salutation (Mr./Ms./Dr.)
- Turn off your cell phone
Know what to wear
- Wear a clean, pressed dark suit and tie
- Avoid whimsical ties
- Wear polished dress shoes
- Present a clean-shaven or neatly trimmed beard
- Wear a clean, pressed suit - either pants or skirt
- Skirts should be no shorter than 1” above the knee
- Wear polished dress shoes – flats or heels no more than two inches high
- Hair should be neatly arranged
Need clothes for your interview? Have you landed the big interview but need appropriate business attire? Check out the Career Closet at Penn State Beaver. Current Penn State Beaver students are able to request a time to explore all the Career Closet has to offer. Business professional or business casual items available including skirt suits, dress pants, shirts, blouses, blazers, ties and much more. All items are gently worn donations appropriate for interviewing and many sizes are available. For more information on the Career Closet contactCareer Servicesor stop by the Student Development Center, Student Union Building 101.
Please check out oursupport the Career Closetpage for information on donations.
- Anything that could detract a recruiter from paying attention to your qualifications (i.e. facial hair, jewelry, heavy perfumes/colognes) will negatively impact the professional impression you want to achieve
- When in doubt, be conservative!
What to bring
- Professional portfolio to carry documents and take notes
- Extra copies of your resume
- Samples of your relevant work
- Reference list
- Any requested documentation
- A writing utensil
After the interview
- Send a prompt thank-you note for the interview
- Follow-up regarding your status in the process if the employer has not contacted you within the agreed upon time frame (you can initiate contact and ask if a hiring decision has been made)
- Continue applying for additional opportunities