Preparation is essential for effective interviewing. Before the interview:

  • Reflect on how you can contribute to the purpose, goals and needs of the prospective employer.
  • Know the purpose, services or products, and business needs of the prospective employer.
  • Review the job description for additional details. Don't assume that you know what the job is based on the title. Jobs with identical titles can be very different.
  • Prepare responses to behavioral interview questions (see list at right).
  • Recall recent situations that show favorable behaviors or actions.
  • Describe your actual behavior, and give specific examples and details.
  • Dress for Success Interview Tips

The First Interview

  • Dress conservatively and professionally
  • Be on time or a little early
  • Show interest and enthusiasm by asking the right questions. Some examples are:
    • What are the most important responsibilities of this position?
    • Why is this position available now?
    • What are the organization's objectives for the future?
    • What are the day-to-day challenges encountered in this position?
    • What skills and qualifications would your ideal candidate possess?
    • How are staff supervised and evaluated in your organization?
  • Demonstrate how your skills and experiences can add value to organizational issues/challenges
  • Postpone salary questions until you have a job offer
  • After the interview, follow-up with the interviewer and provide additional information if requested
  • Send a thank you note to re-assert your interest

The Second Interview

  • Prepare by reflecting on what worked well in the first interview and where you could improve your responses and questions
  • Bring concrete examples of work you would do if hired
  • Develop a strategy to communicate your continuing interest

Telephone Interviewing Tips

At Duke, the initial interview for a position begins with a phone call from a member of the search committee. While not labeled as such, these calls often are the first interview. Thus when you initiate a job search it's critical that you are prepared for telephone interviews. Start by creating a voice mail message that's professional. Speak clearly and provide clear directions for leaving messages. Assemble a pad and pencil near each telephone in your home.

Also, remember to present yourself in a professional manner when answering the telephone. Although the person calling cannot see you, they are still judging you, by your speaking skills, politeness, tone, or background noise.

According to Career builders the following tips are useful when using the telephone in your job search.

1. Be aware of your surroundings

Traffic, a crying baby, loud music, or construction work can be a distraction. Turn off the television or radio. In case of traffic noise, offer to return the call when you can find a more quiet place.

2. Speak clearly

Avoid "uhs" or "ums". Be sure to cover the receiver when you sneeze or cough. Such sounds come across as unprofessional.

3. No Chewing or Eating

Both behaviors while using the telephone make you sound unprofessional and/or rude.

4. Have a Pen and Paper Ready

If the interviewer has information for you, be ready to take it down. Avoid having to say, "can you hold on a minute while I get a pen?"

5. Avoid Putting the Interviewer on Hold

If your other line clicks during a phone interview, ignore it. Hopefully the person calling will call you again later. Likewise, if your cell phone rings during a phone interview, turn it off. Better yet, turn your cell phone off when you start the conversation with the interviewer.

6. Ask for a Face to Face Meeting

Don't let the conversation end without a request for a fact to face meeting. You will be able to convey your passion for the job much more effectively when sitting across from someone.