Effective Interviewing Guide

With the Career Fair last week, we hope many of you were given an interview! Here’s a quick guide on how to ace that interview!


Step 1: Know the Organization

 If you want employers to take interest in you, show interest in them by demonstrating  knowledge of a) the position, b) the employer and c) the industry.

Step 2:  Know Yourself


Skills? Strengths? Illustrate every key point with a clear, relevant example. Be sure to appeal to what the employer needs.

You may be asked things like:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Why should we hire you?

Step 3: Convey Professionalism

  • Dress professionally and conservatively.
  • Arrive at least 10 minutes before your interview.
  • Be confident, but approachable.
  • Smile, make eye contact, and don’t forget that world class handshake!
  • Be as positive as possible.

Step 4: Communicate with Impact

Interviewers want to hear about your specific experiences. Structure your responses using the ‘PAR‘ method.

  • Problem – Briefly describe the problem or situation
  • Action – Specifically explain the action you took to solve the problem
  • Results – Most importantly, describe the results or impact of your action

Be prepared to ask questions to show even more interest in the company. Some questions you can ask are:

  • What are the daily tasks/responsibilities? (if not explained in detail already)
  • What opportunities for advancement exist in this position?
  • What are the biggest challenges currently facing your organization (or industry)?

Step 5: Finish Strong


Be sure to communicate with enthusiasm before you leave. Ask for business cards to follow up, thank the interviewer for their time and project confidence as you shake hands and say goodbye.

Following these tips and adding a splash of your personality will go a long way! Want to practice? Call our office and set up a mock interview now, (619) 594-6851 or visit our website for more interviewing tools, career.sdsu.edu


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