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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.

Quick Tips:

  1. Know your resume “inside and out.”
  2. Understand that the resume emphasizes your skills and accomplishments; it may be used in the interview to guide the conversation or as reference.
  3. Verbally practice answering questions (Yes! Out loud!)
  4. Do employer research.
  5. Attend an employer information sessions on campus if available
  6. Prepare your materials, clothing, and transportation the night prior to the interview so that you are not rushed the day of.
  7. Dress professionally for the interview
  8. Answer every interview question with supportive information; never provide a simple one- or two-word answer.
  9. At the end of the interview, ask questions. Doing this demonstrates your interest in the employer and allows you to better assess the opportunity
  10. After the interview, follow-up with a thank you!

Interviewing Guides & Tips

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