Your First Interview

You got an interview! When you get that exciting phone call, do everything you can to leave a great first impression. Don’t overdo it, but give that important first impression of enthusiasm and confidence.

Ask the following questions:

  • What materials (portfolio, writing samples, grade records) should I bring to the interview?
  • Will more than one person interview me? If so, can you give me their names and titles?
  • Will I be making a presentation, taking any tests, or asked to demonstrate certain skills (such as computer literacy or video editing)?
  • What is the date, time and room location of my interview?
  • What is the company's exact address? Can you give me directions? (Be sure to double check directions online).
  • At the end of the phone call, don't forget to thank the recruiter or hiring manager. Tell him or her that you look forward to meeting them.

Do's & Dont's

On the interview, keep these simple interview Do’s and Don'ts in mind:

 

Before Your Interview

  • Do research the company. You'll be expected to know exactly what the company does, their mission statement/goals, who their competition is, and any current news about the company.
  • Do prepare a list of questions based on your research and the job posting.
  • Do prepare success stories to share.
  • Do dress professionally.
  • Do be early.
  • Do know your resume; anything on it will be fair game for questions.
  • Do bring an extra copy of your resume, references list, and portfolio with you.

During Your Interview

  • Do turn off your cell phone.
  • Do offer a firm hand shake (but not bone crushing or a dead fish).
  • Do maintain good eye contact.
  • Do be yourself; display a sense of humor and self-confidence.
  • Do back up your responses with specific examples.
  • Do be honest.

After Your Interview

  • Do ask for a business card.
  • Do conclude the interview with a firm handshake and “Thank you.”
  • Do ask what the next steps are in their process
  • Do make notes about the interview immediately afterwards, so that you can retain critical details.
  • Do follow-up with a thank-you note (email or written) restating your interest in the position within 24 hours.

What Not To Do

  • Don’t ask questions that have already been answered.
  • Don't be overconfident and boastful.
  • Don’t act desperate to get the job.
  • Don’t chew gum or smell like smoke.
  • Don't show a lack of interest or enthusiasm. Even if you don’t want the job, be professional.
  • Don't emphasize the salary or geographic location as your primary interest in the job.
  • Don't expect too much too soon. Be prepared to take an entry level position. 
  • Don't speak negatively about bad employment experiences. Keep your comments positive.
  • Don’t fidget, scratch, and fuss with your clothing.
  • Don't glorify your past experiences. You need to be able to fulfill on expectations if you get the job.