Interview Preparation

Research the Employer


The first step in your interview preparation is to research the employer. Become aware of their products and services, what share of the market do they control, find out who their competitors are, read reports available online, review their website, and speak with any colleagues who may work there.
More resources

Résumés


Your résumé is an important marketing tool that can help you during your job search. It should be clear, concise and comprehensive. Here are some tips you should consider when preparing your document:

  • Résumés should be kept to one page in length. If absolutely necessary, a two page résumé is acceptable.
  • Use of action verbs and accomplishment statements (PDF) to describe each responsibilities in each position.
    Do not use long and wordy sentences. On the other hand, do not abbreviate everything in an effort to save space
  • It is not necessary to list every job you ever had.
  • Include work experiences that are similar to the desired position.
  • Stress accomplishments, awards, and honors that are relevant to the position you are applying to.
  • Use quality paper for your résumé.
  • Keep in mind that résumés can be reviewed by people or software programs. If you are uploading your resume to a database, include keywords used in your field.

Check out our sample documents

Cover Letter


Your cover letter is more likely the first contact you will have with a potential employer. It serves to introduce yourself, to provide a snapshot of your credentials, and to request an interview. Always address you letter to an individual and not just the Human Resources Director. Be clear in stating the position you are applying to and express your interest in the organization. Your letter needs to be well written and spark interest on the part of the reader. Here are some quick tips to help you when writing your cover letter:

  • The length of your cover letter should be four short paragraphs on one page
    Use white or ivory paper like your résumé
  • Include information relevant to the job you are seeking
  • Be concise and to the point
  • Include a return address and your contact information

Check out our sample documents

Interviews


Students are often unsure or a bit afraid on how to handle a professional interview. This may be the first time that they had to go to a “real” interview appointment. But as with all things, the more you practice the better you get and the more at ease you feel about entering the interview room. Before you start setting interview appointments, we strongly encourage you to attend a Mastering the Interview workshop.

Contact our office for the next session on interviews or check the Calendar in Job Mine for specific date and time information

 

Professional Business Attire



Your résumé may get you to the interview, but how well you perform in the interview will determine if you will get a job offer. When preparing for an interview it is important to pay attention to what you wear. We recommend that you always dress in professional business attire.

Here are some recommendations on what Men and Women should wear to an interview (PDF).

Ethics of Accepting a Job Offer


If you accept a job offer, then you are ethically (and sometimes legally) bound to take the job, even if you receive a better offer at a later time.
Accepting an offer and continuing to interview with other companies is considered unprofessional and unethical.
To avoid such situations, follow these recommendations:

  • Carefully review all your options before making a quick decision.
  • Contact the company representative (before the deadline) if you need additional time to consider the offer.
  • Once you have accepted the offer, notify the company of your acceptance in writing and also inform the Career Center so that we may stop referring your résumé. You will also need to stop interviewing with other companies.
  • Should you decline an offer, be sure to write the employer a note thanking them for their consideration.

If you need assistance in evaluating a job offer, visit with one of the Career Center staff.

Canceling Your Interview Appointments


Our “No Show” Policy states that a student who fails to honor a scheduled interview appointment without sufficient notification of at least 24 hours prior to the interview is considered a “No Show”, and thereby forfeits interview privileges. The student and the student’s Department Chair are notified.

Procedure for Reinstatement: Interviewing privileges may be reinstated after the student writes a letter of apology to the employer and submits the letter to the University Career Center in an unsealed, addressed envelope with appropriate postage affixed for mailing. Company contacts and mailing addresses are available at the Career Center.
A Second No Show will result in denial of further interviewing privileges and the Department Chair and Dean will be notified. Students asking for reinstatement must appeal to the University Career Center Director.

Dining Etiquette Handbook


The Career Center in conjunction with the Student Engagement and Leadership Center host a dining etiquette experience called Miner Manners to prepare students for an interview over a meal. We invite you to register for this special event hosted each long semester. If you are unable to attend or missed the event this semester, you can still benefit from the Etiquette Handbook (PDF).