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Interview Skills

A job interview is your chance to shine and show a potential employer that you are the perfect candidate for the position and their company. Just like your résumé and cover letter, there are many ways to improve your performance and make your interview stand out from the competition.

Interview Don'ts and Dos
Do Your Research

In preparation for your job interview, review your resume, your experiences, and your skills as they relate to the position. Research the company by reading their website, recent articles about the company, as well as demographics about the company, including age, number of employees, reputation, competitors, locations and earnings.

Practice Makes Perfect

Ask a friend or family member to help you practice interview questions, or schedule a mock interview with a Career Counselor. This will help you become comfortable talking about yourself and experiences.

How to Prepare
  • Do extensive research on the company, available professional opportunities, notable people and current competition
  • Create up with three educated questions to ask the interviewer
  • Dress in business attire (a suit is recommended)
  • Always bring a notepad, two pens, and extra copies of your most recent résumé
  • Practice discussing every aspect of your résumé in a positive manner
  • Practice interviewing with your PACT mentor, Career Counselor, Professor, or friends/family
  • Utilize the Mock Interview Module, which can be found in Career Maverick
Do's & Don'ts


  • Offer a firm handshake and make eye contact
  • Dress neatly and appropriately for the industry (business attire)
  • Keep jewelry to a minimum (avoid large jewelry that might distract from what you are saying)
  • Make sure your hair is not in your face and does not hide your eyes
  • Use makeup in moderation


  • Smoke, chew gum, or drink
  • Use profanity
  • Be overly casual in dress or manner
  • Discuss details of your personal life
  • Ever badmouth a former employer
  • Have your cell phone on
  • Wear perfume or cologne
  • Address interviewers by their first name unless you are invited to do so
  • Sit down unless you are invited to do so, or until the employer/interviewer has done so first
Preparing for Employer Questions

Career Maverick offers a virtual interview resource, the Mock Interview Module, which includes numerous questions based on the type of position you’re pursuing. When the interviewer starts asking you job-related questions, be sure to answer clearly and confidently. If you are unfamiliar with anything that's being discussed, honestly tell the interviewer that you do not know, but you look forward to learning the skill. Always use positive words and exude enthusiasm!

Proper Interview Behavior

In preparing for your interview, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early
  • Dress in business attire
  • Offer a firm handshake, maintain eye contact, and smile
  • Answer the questions being asked in a direct, concise manner
  • Ask questions of the employer that prove you've done your research
  • Be enthusiastic about the position, the company, and the interview