Questions to ask your self and be prepared to answer when interviewing for a job or internship.


Employers consider candidates who are motivated, prepared, excited about the opportunity and see growth potential within the organization. Responses that demonstrate an accurate knowledge of a role (i.e. - typical responsibilities; preferred skills, traits, knowledge base; possible resulting career paths) and the related career field will impress an interviewer, especially if you can discuss other options you might have considered and assigned a lesser priority. Body language and speech patterns will provide non-verbal evidence of your confidence and determination.

Demonstrating knowledge of the specific employer and its industry is also important. 


Employers look to see if you have the knowledge base, experiences, skills, and aptitudes that have helped others learn and succeed. A well done resume and a persuasive cover letter can give a recruiter a solid reason to invite you to interview. If you have studied career fields and specific jobs, then you have an advantage because you will better prepared to match your assets to the needs, preferences and expectations of the employer. If you are ready and able to articulate where your qualifications match with specific elements of a job’s duties and work environment, then you will make an excellent impression.


The work world requires commitment, dependability, and sometimes sacrifice in order to succeed. Simply put, you need to show you are work-oriented. If you have a work history, you may well have shown your ability to give working a priority, and those with high achievements in the classroom or in extracurricular commitments may be assumed to have the work orientation employers seek. While solid references frequently play a role in convincing an employer that you will invest effort and will care about what is needed for the organization to meet its goals, employers may still ask questions about what levels of effort or commitment you may have had to exhibit in order for past accomplishments to be achieved.


Every organization has a work culture, a way of doing things, a pace of work, and a set of values you may need to be compatible in order to be successful. A potential supervisor wonders, “Can I work with this person? Can others work with him or her?” If you have already experienced a field through a job or internship, or may have networked and shadowed people in their field of interest, you should have an advantage over someone who hasn’t explored a field as much. Even though a resume or cover letter may show related experiences and may lead an employer to perceive a likely fit, questions about work style and expectations will still surface in an interview. If you demonstrate knowledge of what you will encounter in a position and can provide evidence of your own “fit factors”, then you will score points on the “fit scale.”


  • Explore fields through reading, networking and experience gathering.
  • Think about your goals, interests, skills, and work style preferences.
  • Discuss your efforts and findings with career counselors and network contacts.
  • Practice interviewing so you become more natural and confident in conducting interviews.

Career Services offers information on exploring careers, consultations, and practice interviews to help students polish their interviewing skills.
Meet with a career counselor call (315) 443-3616 or visit Handshake to set-up an appointment.