Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Interviewing

The interview is one of the most important steps in the job search process. It is your chance to elaborate on how your education, skills and experience fit what the employer is seeking in a candidate and ultimately gets you the job offer.

Liberal Arts Career Services provides several resources to assist students with future interviews. Students may schedule an appointment with a Career Coach for interview guidance or schedule a behavioral or case study mock interview to practice your interviewing skills.

Behavioral Interviews (this is the most common type) - A structured interview conducted either by an individual or panel of interviewers, prompting candidates to describe a past experience or situation, demonstrating how s/he handled the situation. Interview Attire - Do you know what to wear to your upcoming interview? Explore our dress for success guide for help.
Case Study Interviews - Case study interviews require candidates to solve a case problem using analytical, problem solving and communication skills. Case study interviews are common with consulting firms. Dining Etiquette - If your interview takes place over a meal, explore our dining etiquette page to learn basic etiquette and meal tips.
Mock Interviews - Mock interviews are an excellent way to gain experience and confidence with interviewing. Our Career Coaches are prepared to provide either behavioral or case study mock interviews depending on your career path of interest. Interview Questions to Ask & to Expect - Explore the list of commonly asked interview questions as well as questions to ask the employer during the interview.
SWOT Analysis - A SWOT Analysis is a tool to help evaluate your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to help prepare you for an interview. Interview Thank You Letters - Once you’ve walked out of the interview, it isn’t over yet! There is still a vital action that must be done – the thank you note. Explore this page for tips and sample letters.
Your Interview Story - Compile your success stories and visit a career coach to develop these into your interview story. During your interview, you will be able to draw from these stories to deliver succinct and well-organized examples of successes and how you approached challenging situations. Make an appointment, then schedule a mock interview. Salary Negotiation & The Offer - Once the interview is over and an offer is on the table, what comes next? Navigating salary negotiation and the job offer can be tricky. The following tips will assist you with formulating a confident response during the salary negotiation phase as well as give you confidence to accept or decline a job offer. 

Quick Tips

Top 7 Ways to Prepare for an Interview
  1. Know yourself. Review your resume for a reminder of your experiences, skills and accomplishments.
  2. Know the opportunity. Before your interview, fully familiarize yourself with the position description, the department, the organization and the culture of the organization. Start with the organization’s website. Also look up the company on Glassdoor or Vault.
  3. Know your story. Be prepared to summarize your background, accomplishments and experiences in relation to the position and organization.
  4. Dress the part. Dress professionally for interviews. In some rare instances, the company’s culture may expect less professional attire. Ask a career coach for advice on your specific situation.
  5. Be there early. Plan to be at or near the location as early as possible, and check-in for your interview 15 minutes before your interview time. Keep in mind that the interview actually starts from the moment you check-in - so be friendly and courteous to the receptionist/greeter.
  6. Prepare for the greeting. Be prepared to shake the interviewer’s hand, smile and relax. Interviewees often stumble through the initial greeting, with questions like “How are you doing?”
  7. Remember to ask for business cards during the interview so that you can follow-up with personalized thank you messages.
Top 7 Things to Avoid in an Interview
  1. Being ill-prepared and disorganized. Arriving late, failure to research the company, not bringing your resume and not remembering key strengths are all big no-no’s!
  2. Vagueness. Be sure to prepare specific examples and evidence of your skills and accomplishments. Recruiters won’t be impressed by nonspecific responses!
  3. Talking trash about previous employers. Don’t be a Debbie Downer! Even if your previous employer was less than ideal, keep that information to yourself and present the negative in a positive light. Example: when asked why you are leaving your current position, instead of focusing on the negative aspects, talk about the positive things (from the current company) that drew you to the position such as company culture, professional development opportunities or even work-life balance.
  4. Showcasing indifference instead of true interest. If you’re just looking for any job vs. this job, we have a problem. Recruiters can see right through this and won’t entertain hiring you for a second. Convey your genuine interest and enthusiasm for the position – don’t be an impassive job seeker.
  5. Agreeing to everything. Even if you know that this is the perfect position and company for you, don’t be afraid to provide your own insight and thoughts (in a respectful and open tone, of course). Nothing is worse for a recruiter than excessive agreeability.
  6. Oversharing. While letting the recruiter get a glimpse of who you are as a candidate, it can be easy to overshare and overwhelm the recruiter with irrelevant information. Practice keeping your responses concise and well-organized by using the PARL method so you don’t hinder your chances of landing the job or the next interview.
  7. Not dressing the part. Not dressing appropriately for the interview can ruin your first impression. Be sure to know what the company dress code is and if you have questions, ask the recruiter/hiring manager about appropriate interview attire for the office (it varies across industries and companies).

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  • Liberal Arts Career Services

    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508
    512-471-7900