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Preparation

Know yourself
  • Review your education, experience, skills, interests, and abilities.
  • Consider taking a career assessment (interest inventories, etc.).
  • Speak with friends, family, teachers, (former) employers, etc.
  • Consult a career counselor at Career Services.
Know the organization and job for which you are applying
  • Review the job title and description and seek clarification.
  • Contact the organization for a more complete description if necessary.
  • Arrange an "Information Interview" with someone who has the job or a similar one.
  • Spend a "day on the job" observing someone actually doing the job.
  • Find out who you would work for and ask questions of him or her.
  • Research the organization to become familiar with its reputation, work environment, "culture," problems, and prospects.
  • Talk to people who would know about the organization, such as job incumbents, former employees, family and friends, faculty, alumni, etc.
  • Peruse the company binders, directories, and other literature in the Career Services Library.
  • Prepare questions you will ask during the interview.
  • Examples include:
  • How does the job/department fit in the organization?
  • What type of formal or informal training is given?
  • How would I advance? What "career paths" are available?
  • How is job performance measured?
  • What is the salary? (Usually not asked during the first interview.)
  • Review the Questions Most Often Asked by Employers in Job Interviews and write out your answers to about ten of the most important ones.
  1. The two major types of questions to expect are:
  2. Why are you interested in/what do you know about our company?
  3. What can you offer us/why should we hire you?
  • Have a friend or family member (or Career Services staff member) ask you some of the above questions and give you constructive feedback on your answers.
  • Audiotape or videotape yourself.
  • Schedule a Mock Interview with a Career Services counselor.
  • Make certain of the interview date, time, and location.
  • Write these down on your appointment calendar along with the interviewer's name and phone number.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to the interview location.
  • Look your best for the interview, conforming to the organization's standards whenever possible (check a company manual).
  • Check out WSU's Dress To Impress Guide.
  • Be conservative in your dress when in doubt.
  • Make a "trial run" in new clothes so you'll be more comfortable.
  • Trim your hair, have shoes repaired and shined, etc.
  • Bring a pen and paper, extra resume, etc.