What is the purpose of an interview?
An interview allows an employer to evaluate your professionalism, ability to express ideas, and fit with their organization. For you, an interview is an opportunity to weave the facts listed on your resume into a story while demonstrating strong communication and interpersonal skills. It's also a time for you to ask well-prepared questions (see below) and determine whether the organization is a place you'd like to work.
How can I practice?
- You can schedule a practice interview with our staff via Handshake.
- When recruiters come to campus, consider signing up for interviews even if you're not sure if you're interested in the position.
- Take advantage of opportunities to speak in public, whether it's the Power & Privilege Symposium, the Whitman Undergraduate Conference or an optional presentation in class.
- The Center for Writing and Speaking (COWS) has speaking fellows trained to help students with their oral communication skills.
To get help in making the most of your interview, check out these tips.
Attire & Body Language
Even for a phone interview, dressing professionally can help direct your mindset. For a video interview, it's crucial. Sit upright with both feet on the floor and refrain from fidgeting.
Location & Technology
Choose a quiet location with good service/solid internet connection. For a phone call, use a fully charged cellular device or consider using a landline. For a video interview, plug in your computer and set up 15 minutes early in a well-lit area with an appropriate background.
Remote interviews run the risk of sounding flat. Smile, talk with your hands, and communicate enthusiasm through tone of voice. On the phone, there are no visual cues, so listen attentively to your interviewer's questions and responses and give yourself permission to pause before answering.