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Interview Preparation

Prior to the Interview

Do Your Research
The best thing you can do prior to speaking with an employer is to gain as much information about the company as possible. By doing this, you will be able to intelligently speak about and ask questions about the organization, while also showing you have a strong interest in learning about their products, services, values and purpose. Below are suggestions of information to search for when performing research before an interview.

  • Primary mission or purpose of the organization
  • Major competitors
  • Organizational culture (management style, work environment, structure)
  • Principal services and products

Click here for additional resources.

The Beginners Guide To: Job Assessment Tests

Dress for Success
As a general rule, dress a level above what you believe the company culture may be. There are three general dress categories including business professional, business casual, and casual. Most commonly we recommend you dress in business professional for interviews.

Dress 1
Dress 2

Dressing for the Interview

Career Closet
UW-River Falls Career Services and Treasures from the Heart have partnered to provide gently used professional clothing to current UWRF students at a deep discount. Start by scheduling a free appointment with a personal shopper from Treasures from the Heart and they will help identify professional clothing to fit your needs. To learn more, please review the brochure, or call Treasures from the Heart at 715-425-9771.

Career Closet Coupon

Practice, Practice, Practice

Know Your Rights as a Job Seeker
Choosing and attaining meaningful post-graduation employment is an important challenge for college students. Click here to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a job seeker.


During the Interview

Be aware of what your verbal and non-verbal communication is saying to the interviewer.

  • Non-Verbal Communication: Practice a firm handshake, sit up straight and do not cross your arms, maintain eye contact without staring, be aware of nervous mannerisms and adjust if you find yourself performing distracting mannerisms.
  • Verbal Communication: Never talk negatively about past employers, don't talk too much or ramble, eliminate"filler" words (i.e. "you know", "um", or "like"), speak in a clear and audible voice.

Interview Questions

Types of Interviews

  • One-on-One Interviews: One-on-one interviews are conducted between the hiring manager and candidate.  
  • Group Interviews: In a group interview, there are usually several candidates interviewed at the same time. This format can be useful for employers to screen candidates into the next round of interviewing by observing which candidates stand out.  
  • Panel Interviews: A panel interview is when a hiring panel (usually five or six people) interviews the candidate simultaneously. 
  • Series Interviews: A series interview is when candidates participate in a series of two or more interviews with different people or groups throughout the day. The interviews can be either one-on-one, group, panel formats, or a combination of the three. Sometimes each person or group will offer a different kind of interview (informational, behavioral, etc.)  
  • Phone Interviews: A phone interview should be treated the same as a face-to-face interview

Questions for the Interviewer
It is extremely important to have questions for the interviewer(s). Questions for the interviewer indicate interest, initiative and forethought by the interviewee. Example questions for the interviewer can be found in our Interviewing Techniques handout.


After the Interview

Send a Thank You to the Recruiter(s) You Interviewed With
By sending a thank you letter to your interviewer(s), it displays interest in the position and respect for the interviewer and their time. Did you fail to mention something critical about your skills and experience during an interview? Here's your opportunity to mention it. You can also reiterate the skills you touched on.

You can choose to send a hard-copy thank you letter send through traditional mail, or you can send an email thank you note. When deciding which form to send, consider the communication you had with the recruiter prior to the interview. If you have emailed, consider sending an email as this is the form of communication already used. Also, if you know the hiring timeline for the position will move quickly, an email will arrive faster than a letter sent through the mail.

View an example thank you letter in the Professional Letters handout.

Research Salaries
The topic of salary should be initiated by the employer, which typically occurs after an initial interview or during a second/third interview. It is wise to research salaries prior to interviewing to be prepared if this question is brought up earlier than the second stage. Utilize resources such as Glassdoor.comOccupational Outlook HandbookSalary.comLinkedIn Salary and to gain a better understanding of salary ranges that fit the position and level for which you are applying. Demonstrate an understanding of the position and industry with salary research and tie that to why you and the experience you bring is worth the salary range you seek. Always remember to offer a salary range (i.e. $35,000 - $42,000) instead a solid number. This offers more flexibility in negotiation. You also need to remember to gain an understanding of the whole offer and not focus solely on the salary.

Evaluate and Negotiate Job Offers
View more about salary negotiation by reading our Evaluating a Job Offer handout

Estimate appropriate salary ranges with the NACE salary calculator. 
View examples of ways to respond to job offers.

UWRF employment statistics to view earnings for recent UWRF graduates.

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