Interviewing & Job Offers
Being prepared for your interview will give you the confidence to succeed in highlighting important qualities and skills needed to illustrate your qualifications.
Employers typically want to know three things:
Can you do the job?
Will you do the job?
Will you fit in with the organization?
Your job is to provide enough solid information to answer an unequivocal “YES!” to all three of these questions. To do so effectively, you will need to be aware of the specific characteristics employers seek in new hires. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), who surveys hundreds of employers each year, the attributes most highly sought after are:
Interpersonal/ teamwork skills
Strong work ethic
It is not uncommon for candidates to get nervous before the interview. However, interviewing is a two-way street; it is an opportunity for you and the employer to get to know each other. Contrary to what you may have heard, interviewers do not want to intentionally ask you difficult questions just to see you make a mistake. In fact, employers want you to do well during the interview. Think about it: they invest a lot of time and money screening and recruiting candidates. The sooner they can identify the right person, the sooner their job is done.
The good news is that the more experience you get with interviewing, the less nervous you will feel. Like any other task you have mastered, interviewing is a skill. If you have ever been on a team, played an instrument, or performed in public, you probably didn't just show up on game day and expect to deliver a flawless performance. Instead, you probably spent many hours beforehand practicing, rehearsing, and visualizing what you would do and say. Well, interviewing is no different; it is a skill that requires preparation and practice.
We have multiple resources available to help you prepare for whatever comes your way.
Research in Advance
- Successful Interviewing (PDF - 9 pages) - Preparing for interviews, questions asked by employers, questions to ask employers, etiquette tips for interviews, closing the interview, dressing for interviews, interview advice from employers, types of interviews, etiquette tips for dining, sample thank you letter.
- Salary - arm yourself with data and insights from relevant websites to help you answer the questions "what are your salary requirements?"
Sign up for a Mock Interview (experienced professional interviewers available during first 6 weeks of each semester)
- Professional interviewers are hired each semester to help prepare students for the upcoming recruiting cycles -- common and behavioral interviewing questions only. Schedule Mock Interviews through our appointment system on Handshake.
- Practice interviewing on your own with our virtual tool "Big Interview". Big Interview is an online system that combines training and practice to help improve your interview technique and build your confidence.
You have at your disposal a variety of tools including:
Challenging, virtual mock interviews for all experience levels and dozens of industries
A database of thousands of interview questions with tips on how to answer them
The ability to rate and share your interview answers for feedback
A comprehensive video training curriculum covering all aspects of landing a job
A step-by-step interview Answer Builder for crafting answers to behavioral questions
How exciting that you have an offer! However, your work isn't done yet. It's time to make your decision: accept or respectfully decline. Our Career Counselors are here to help you through every stage of this process. As you begin to evaluate the offer, here are some things to think about:
- Job Offers (PDF - 6 pages)
How to evaluate a job offer, salary negotiations, sample letters for accepting or declining an offer. (From the Career Center Job & Internship Guide)
- Career Center Job Offer Guidelines for Students
- Don't Blow Your Job Search