Preparing for an Interview
This is where all your work ultimately pays off—skills assessment, resume development, and communication with targeted employers. Preparation and practice are key to successful interviewing. A lack of thorough employer research is often interpreted as poor preparation and a lack of interest in the employer.
- Know your resume “inside and out.”
- Understand that the resume emphasizes your skills and accomplishments; it may be used in the interview to guide the conversation or as reference.
- Verbally practice answering questions (Yes! Out loud!)
- Do employer research.
- Attend an employer information sessions on campus if available
- Prepare your materials, clothing, and transportation the night prior to the interview so that you are not rushed the day of.
- Dress professionally for the interview
- Answer every interview question with supportive information; never provide a simple one- or two-word answer.
- At the end of the interview, ask questions. Doing this demonstrates your interest in the employer and allows you to better assess the opportunity
- After the interview, follow-up with a thank you!
Interviewing Guides & Tips
- HireVue Practice Site
- Youtube Explanation
- Some employers use this tool to preview candidates
- Sample site has 3 questions to test process
- ECS Job Search Guides – INTERVIEWING
- Prepare for Interviews
- Typical Interview Questions
- Questions to Ask Recruiters
- Different Types of Interviews
- On-site and Second Round Interviews
- Big Interview Software
- UW-Madison has a license for Big Interview software to assist you with interviewing. We do not recommend using their resume templates, but the interview preparation information can be useful.
S.T.A.R. Method for Behavioral Interview Questions
In responding to behavioral questions, it is best to provide a specific example to support your response.
Frame the response using an example from your resume including: academic projects, classes, work experiences, and out-of-class activities.
Be very specific as you cover the four necessary steps (Situation, Task, Action & Result) for optimum success:
- Situation: Give an example of a situation you were involved in that resulted in a positive outcome.
- Task: Describe the task(s) required in the situation.
- Action: Talk about the various actions you initiated or completed.
- Result: Provide the results directly connected to your actions.
Looking for resources to help with technical interviews, coding interviews or case interviews? Check out the LinkedIn Learning platform and search for the type of interview by keyword. LinkedIn Learning is free for all UW-Madison students