Syracuse UniversityCareer Services

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A TYPICAL INTERVIEW

The interview begins when you walk in the door. Make it your goal to impress the interviewer, the receptionist, and anyone else you meet – they all might be asked to weigh in on their impression of you.

FIRST IMPRESSSIONS

A few little things go a long way to making a good first impression:

  • Be on time
  • Have a confident posture
  • Look the part - Dress appropriately 
  • Have a solid energy level
  • Make good eye contact
  • Give a firm handshake
  • Smile

MAKING SMALL TALK

The interviewer will likely try to put you at ease by asking simple questions that aren’t related to the opportunity or organization, like:

  • How you are
  • The weather
  • Your studies or activities you are involved in
  • Where you are from
Be interactive, smile, show some energy, remark on how you are looking forward to the interview, and ask about their day.  This is where you can ask if it is okay to take notes.

THE INTERVIEW

The interview will transition to your interests, skills, knowledge, capabilities and work style and how they relate to the organization and opportunity.  Typical topics could include:

  • Your interest in this position and/or organization
  • Your background and experiences
  • Your academic choices
  • Your career goals
  • Your plans for the future  

TIPS: 

  • Listen, pause to think, ask clarifying questions if necessary
  • Use examples to substantiate skills or traits
  • Avoid rambling when a shorter summary will do
  • Keep your responses specific to the opportunity or the work environment and its challenges or features.

ASKING QUESTIONS

Do you have any questions for me?... Always have questions prepared, it shows your interest in the position and it allows you to assess your fit with the opportunity and the organization. Here are some examples:

  • A year from now, what will success look like for this position?
  • What challenges do you see for the person in this role?
  • Are there opportunities for growth?
  • Where do you see the company 5 or 10 years from now?
  • How did you get your start in ___________?
  • What’s it like working for _____________?  

CLOSING REMARKS

When you reach the end of your questions, summarize:

  • Desire to do this work for this organization
  • Confidence that your skills will help the organization reach its goals
  • That you will fit into their work culture.  
  • Ask “What happens next?”  

Always finish with a “Thank you for the interview”.