Skip to main content

Preparing for an Interview

Think about the purpose of an interview

The following are a few common purposes of an interview. Try to keep these in mind as you prepare:

  • Allows the interviewer to evaluate your personality, attitude and behavior, and see if you are a good “fit” for the job and the organization
  • Allows you the opportunity to demonstrate how your skills and experience will contribute to the position and the company
  • Opportunity for you to collect more information on the job and the organization, and see if the opportunity is a good “fit” for you

Research the company and industry

  • What do they do?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • What is their main goal?
  • Have they achieved a good reputation over the years?
  • What is the work environment like?

Research the specific position

  • Carefully review the job description. If not previously provided, ask for a detailed job description.
  • Look over the job requirements carefully and think about how your skills match the requirements.
  • Research average salaries for this type of role, in case you are asked about salary expectations.
  • Think about what unique qualities you could bring to the position that would enhance the job.


  • Practice in front of a mirror – get a sense of your facial expressions.
  • Ask a friend or family member to ask you some common interview questions, and get their feedback on how you present. You can also book mock interview sessions with Career and Placement Services in GH108.
  • Anticipate some questions that might be asked, and prepare answers for common interview questions:
    • Keep your answers short and to the point to avoid being cut off or losing the interviewer’s interest
    • Think of examples and situations that demonstrate your abilities or strengths –try to have a couple STAR stories prepared for any behavioural questions that may arise
  • Put together a portfolio with professional samples that may help you convey the quality of your work
  • Prepare some appropriate questions to ask the interviewer; make sure the questions show that you have already done your research on the company and position and reinforce your interest in the position. Here are some sample questions to ask:
    • Why is this position vacant?
    • What are some common characteristics of someone who is successful in this role?
    • Describe the company culture – what are the company’s values? Is there anything you would change about the culture?
    • How are candidates evaluated, and what is the measure of success?
    • What are the next steps in this process?

On the day of the interview

  • Keep a copy of your resume and re-read it before the interview.
  • Bring a pad of paper and pen.
  • Expect to be kept waiting – use that time to go over your questions and your skills.
  • Plan to get there 10 minutes prior to the interview, and allow yourself lots of time in case traffic is bad.
  • Dress professionally; find out more about appropriate interview attire.