Career and Professional Development

Interview Prep

Evaluate Your Related Skills and Experience

Review the job description and research the organization to better understand what the employer is seeking.

Then, review your experience and skills to identify those things which best qualify you for the position. What is your best case for why the employer should hire you? How are you uniquely qualified for the job? What can you offer the organization?

List your best qualifications and consider examples to describe those experiences and demonstrate relevant skills. Remember, proof is better than words. You "prove" your qualifications by providing detailed examples of when you demonstrated relevant skills. It's one thing to say "I'm a good leader." It's another to provide an example of your leadership skills in context.

Provide Examples: the STAR Method

Many employers utilize "behavioral interviewing," asking candidates to use examples to describe their skills and experience. One of the best strategies for organizing answers to these questions is the STAR method: 

  • Situation: Provide an overview of the situation and any important background information. Keep it short and simple.
  • Task: Explain what you were trying to accomplish.
  • Action: Describe the actions you took to address the situation. Give enough detail to explain what you did and why you did it. Use "I" statements to take credit for your contributions.
  • Result: Describe the outcomes of your actions. Take credit for your accomplishments and acknowledge what you learned and how it might apply to the job at hand.

Research the Organization

Research is essential for good interview preparation. You cannot demonstrate how you will fit in with an organization until you know something about the organization. Research also helps you evaluate if you want to work at an organization and determine questions you should ask in your interview. Browse their company website along with any social media sites. Search for articles. Conduct informational interviews or reach out to alumni to learn more about the organization.