Transition Services: Interviewing


There are many types of meetings in which you can be interviewed for a job, including face-to-face with a hiring manager or a panel, phone or virtual (Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.).  It can be casual or formal and include group presentations or testing.  When you are invited to an interview, make sure to get information about how the meeting will be conducted.

Always, always review the job description and your resume before your call.

interview with three people

Studies show that the job interview is over 90% non-verbal communication. A confident attitude, good eye contact, and a strong handshake speak volumes.  Some points to remember:

  • Express genuine interest and enthusiasm.
  • Listening is more important than talking. Make sure you hear the entire question so that you can answer it fully.
  • Take a few seconds to think out your answer. 
  • Give answers that relate to the requirements of the job. Be specific and give examples.
  • Don’t volunteer more information than is asked by the interviewer.
  • Be prepared to answer questions with related examples of your experience or education. 
  • Do have questions to ask. This is your opportunity to find out if this job is right for you.
  • Dress appropriately for the interview.

DO:  Ask about job-related issues, thank all interviewers, and send a thank you note or email within 24-48 hours. Note: Send the note to the person who is managing the hiring process. 

DO NOT:  Ask about salary, benefits, vacation, etc. Don’t discuss interviews with other organizations, family, or personal issues. Never say anything bad about a former employer or manager.

A Few Types of Interviews 

Telephone Interviews

  • Often the first step in the screening of candidates, but can also be considered the first step in the interview process and have more than one person on the call. 

  • Stand or move around while you are talking, and check your facial expression from time to time; how you look is how your voice is sounding.

  • Phone interviews generally last anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes.

  • Have your resume, job description, calendar, and questions in front of you.

Panel Interviews

  • May be in person or via video meeting.
  • More than one person interviews you at the same time. Usually consists of managers, co-workers, partners, and customers. 
  • Questions will be structured and may have more than one item to consider.
  • Maintain eye contact, looking at each person as they speak to you.

Video/Virtual Interviews 

  • Be sure to set the camera so that it is at eye level with you and evaluate your background.
  • Log on approximately 10 minutes before the interview and double-check your connection.
  • Maintain eye contact as if you were in the room. Look at the speaker.
  • Place your notes behind your camera at eye level (think giant post-it notes) so that if you want to check your notes you do not look down and away from your screen.
  • Look happy to be there!

Interview Questions  

Behavioral Questions 

The theory is: Past performance predicts future behavior. These questions will start with: “Tell us about a time when you…” Give examples from your work history that demonstrate the match to the job. 

Situational Questions

The employer is looking for how you approach problem-solving or organize a process, starting with:  “What if you had to…,” “How would you resolve…,” or “Describe how you would if you had to…”

Open Questions 

Tell me about yourself. What are your strengths or weaknesses? How would your co-workers describe you? Why do you want to work here?

Thank You Notes

Always thank your interviewer for their time and, if you are interested, ask what the next step is. 

Utilize on-campus resources to practice professional interviewing skills and ace your next interview!

panel interview