Interviewing

Whether you’ve never had an interview before or you’ve been through the process 100 times, preparation and knowing what to expect can help to increase your confidence and improve the chances of having a successful interview!

What to expect:

  • Types of interviews:
  • Questions typically asked:
    • Prepare for questions about qualifications and skills listed on resumes and in cover letters – if you’ve said you have an experience or skill, be prepared to back it up in the interview.
    • Look over the company website to prepare for questions about what you know about the company and the position that you’re interviewing for.
    • Behavior-based interview questions are becoming increasingly more common.  These are questions related to how you conducted yourself in various situations or circumstances as they may relate to the role you are interviewing for.  Click here to view a list of sample interview questions.
  • Timelines:  All employers are different, with different needs and different systems.  Be patient with the process, but feel free to ask them about their anticipated timelines.  If they say they will follow up with you in a certain period of time, be sure to give them at least that long before you reach out to them.
    • Keep track of application closing dates.
    • If you’ve applied for many positions in a short period of time, track when which applications were submitted and keep the timelines straight for the different positions.
  • Attire:  Everyone work environment will be different, but the NDSU Career and Advising Center recommends dressing “one level up” for the typical attire that may be required on the day-to-day in that role.
    • If the company attire is casual in a daily work environment, dress business casual for the interview.
    • If the daily attire is business casual, consider dressing business professional for the interview.

How to prepare:

  • Research the company: Review their websites, social media platforms, and/or talk to people who currently work there.  Learn about the company in advance to show that you’ve taken the time to prepare and become familiar with the company ahead of time.
  • Develop questions to ask at the end of the interview: The NDSU Career and Advising Center recommends developing 5 questions to have ready for the interview, but ask 3 of them when the time comes.
  • Resume and references: Bring a copy of your resume and reference list for all members of the interviewing panel.
  • PRACTICE!!: The best way to get more comfortable in an interviewing setting is to practice.  The NDSU Career and Advising Center offers mock interviews, stop by during drop-in hours, or call the main line at 701-231-7167 to get one scheduled.
  • Plan the appropriate outfit: Attire is mentioned above, but if you don’t have the type of clothing to dress professionally for an upcoming interview, visit the Career and Advising Center’s Career Closet!  We have clothing that can be checked out for free and just needs to be returned following a 2-week period.

How the Career and Advising Center can help:

  • Mock interviews:  Scheduled at the students convenience, mock interviews can be tailored to the needs of the specific situation.  Whether it’s a panel interview with 5 people or a Skype interview, Career and Advising Center staff will do their best to set up the most realistic mock scenario to help increase confidence!  Email ndsu.cac@ndsu.edu or call 701-231-7167 to set up a convenient time.
  • Sample questions: It’s hard to know what types of responses to practice before an interview if you have no idea what the employer will ask.  The Career and Advising Center will create tailored questions to help you prepare responses and to feel more confident in the examples you provide in an interview.
  • Questions for the student to ask at the end of an interview: Students often ask what questions are appropriate for an interview.  If you are unsure, drop by the Career and Advising Center and a staff member would be happy to assist and provide feedback.
  • Negotiating and evaluating job offers: From time to time, students/alumni come in with questions about how to negotiate salary or other terms of a job offer.  We have staff on hand to assist with these discussions and welcome you to drop-in to have a discussion with a Career Coach or Career Mentor.