Interview Tips for Students
It is important to prepare for your interview. Below you'll find some tips and resources on how to do that.
Practical Steps you can take to prepare for an interview:
- Carefully review the job description.
- Think about the skills you have and how you've developed them. Consider what experiences you've had that make you a strong candidate for the job. Prepare specific examples of how you've performed or completed tasks something to what the job requires, if appropriate.
- Research the employer.
- Develop an understanding of what their goals are, so you can tailor your responses in a way that will most strongly resonate with them.
- Prepare an introduction for yourself.
- Be ready to quickly describe who you are, what you are looking for, and what you can offer to the employer.
- Practice basic interview questions (pdf) with friends or family.
- While you cannot predict every question that might be asked, you'll feel more confident if you've taken the time to practice answering some common questions.
- Plan your outfit.
- Dress in semi-professional clothing. Avoid heavy perfume/cologne. Wear something that makes you feel confident in your appearance.
- Consider Timing.
- Give yourself at least 15 minutes of flex-time to arrive on time. If the interview is in person, be sure you know in advance how to get there and how much time it will take you to get there without feeling rushed.
- If the employer doesn't tell you how long the interview will take, you can ask. Don't plan anything immediately following the meeting. You'll likely want some time after the interview to take a deep breath and reflect on how it went.
- Think about what you need.
- What information was not in the job description? What more do you wish to understand about this job? Prepare a few questions to ask about the job, the department, or duties required of you. Write them down and be ready to ask your questions when given the opportunity during the interview.
- Read through the Student Employment Handbook (pdf). This will help you prepare for what is expected of a student employee at Dartmouth.
During the interview:
- Listen carefully to the question being asked.
- Give yourself a moment to collect your thoughts, then answer the question honestly and completely.
- Ask for clarification if you're unsure what they are asking. Say something like, "Can you re-phrase that? I'm not certain I know what you are asking me."
- It's okay to take notes.
- If you are someone who prefers it, you can make notes to remind yourself of important information that is shared with you during the conversation.
- Ask questions!
- Remember those questions you prepared in #7 above? If they weren't already answered during the interview, be sure to ask them before the meeting ends.
- If the interviewer(s) don't provide a timeline to you, ask.
- It helps to have a sense of how their search process works, and if there's a timeframe in which you can expect to hear from them.
After the interview:
- Follow-up with the interviewer(s).
- Send an email within 24 hours to thank each of the interviewers for taking the time to meet you. Include one reason that you believe you are a strong candidate for this job and let them know you are still interested in the job.
- If appropriate, offer to provide employment references.