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Interview Prep


Utilize Interview Stream to practice for your professional interview.  This program allows you to practice answering common interview questions, as well as record and review your responses. Follow the link to login or create an account with your Viterbo email address. You can conduct an interview from any device with a camera, such as your laptop, phone, or tablet. You now have access to: 

  • Eleven "Created for You" interviews and hundreds of questions to create your own custom interview
  • Share your interview with career advisors, faculty, and others to receive additional feedback
  • Video Interview Best Practice Guides
  • Elevator Pitch Guide
  • "Umm Like" Guide

Schedule a mock interview with a career services staff member. Interviews are available face-to-face, over the phone or via Skype to simulate the professional interview event. 

Speed Mock Interviewing is a popular special event offered each semester to provide students the opportunity to practice and receive feedback about interview skills and network with area professionals.

Types of Interviews

  • Telephone: often used for long-distance applicants to screen and narrow the job pool. Interview via a landline and have notes in front of you; call people by their formal names. Remember to smile - you can 'hear' a smile.  

  • Skype: often used for long-distance applicants to screen and narrow the job pool. Brophy 112 and 113 are available for Skype interview reservations. Make sure you look at the camera instead of your screen - dress professionally. 

  • Group: several candidates being interviewed at the same time; common for graduate school interviews. Take your turn when speaking and don't dominate the conversation. 

  • Panel: several interviewers asking questions of one applicant; make sure to maintain eye contact with everyone, not just the person that asked the question. 

  • Individual: standard face-to-face interview format. Bring a padfolio with three copies of your resume, a pen, and a notepad with notes about interview answers. 

  • Informational: an interview that you initiate with someone in a job, organization, or career of interest to you. You are the interviewer, rather than the interviewee. The purpose is to obtain information, not to get a job. Informational interviews can help individuals explore careers and expand your professional network.

Standard Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What can you offer us?
  • What are your strengths? weaknesses?
  • What do you know about our organization?
  • What is an accomplishment you are proud of?
  • How have your educational, employment, and other experiences prepared you for this position?
  • How did you choose your academic field/career path?
  • What are your career plans for the next five years?
  • Describe your work style.
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why did you take (or leave) your last job?
  • What motivates you?
  • What salary are you expecting?
  • How do you define professionalism?
  • How would your current or most recent supervisor describe you?
  • What have you learned from your past mistakes?
  • How do you determine or evaluate success?
  • Describe your most rewarding college experience.
  • Will you relocate? Do you have a geographical preference?
  • How do I know you're the best candidate? 

Behavioral-Based Interview Questions

  • Describe a specific time you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
  • Tell me about a time you went above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to convince someone to see things your way.
  • By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations, and environments.
  • Describe a time in which you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills.
  • Tell me about a time you demonstrated good decision-making skills.   
  • Tell me about a time in which you had to use your written communication skills in order to get an important point across.
  • Give an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it.
  • Describe the most significant or creative presentation which you have had to complete.
  • Tell me about a time you experienced a conflict with a co-worker or peer.
  • Describe a situation in which you were successful.
  • Tell me about a time you managed multiple responsibilities and deadlines.
  • Describe a rewarding experience you had on your current or most recent job.
  • Describe a challenging situation you encountered in your current or most recent job.
  • Describe an experience when you dealt with an angry customer.
  • Tell me about a time you demonstrated creativity.
  • Describe a difficult decision you've had to make.
  • Tell me about a time you received constructive feedback.
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake.

Your response to behavioral questions should include a brief description of the specific situation, the tasks and challenges of the situation, the specific action you took, and the result or outcome, including what you learned from the experience.  One acronym used to guide responses is STAR:

                           Specific situation
                           Task or challenge
                           Action taken
                           Result of action, including what you learned                                                                                                                 
    

Illegal Questions

Interview questions must all be job/experience related. If questions come up that are illegal or improper, such as questions about your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, holidays celebrated, spouse, children, etc, then you need to consider your options:

Refuse to answer: this can tell the employer you think the question is improper
Answer the question: you decide to swallow your pride and privacy
Answer the legitimate question and ignore the illegal or improper questions
Ask a question rather than answer the improper question. When in doubt, ask for clarification.

Questions to Ask Interviewers

  • What do you look for in applicants?
  • What continuing education and supervision is provided?
  • In what direction do you see your organization going in the near future?
  • What are some current challenges here?
  • What do you like most about your work here?
  • How will you know in six months to a year, hiring me was the right decision?
  • I noticed on your website that _______.  Could you tell me more about that?
  • What makes a successful employee in your organization?
  • How would I be evaluated?
  • Earlier in the interview, you mentioned ____.  Could you tell me more about that?
  • What's a normal work week like?
  • Can you provide me with information about the workplace culture?
  • What are the specific duties required?
  • What advice would you have for someone new to your organization?
  • What are priorities for the person in this position to accomplish in the next year?
  • Is there other information I can provide you?
  • What is your timetable for making a hiring decision?

After the Interview

  • Send a thank you letter within 24 hours of the interview. You may email or mail, the method depends on the employer timeline, decision tomorrow then email, decision next week then mail.   
  • Complete any written applications and forms requested.  Do any follow-up requested during the interview.  
  • Write down key things that were said. These can be used in your thank you letter and may be helpful in the event of a second interview.
  • Reflect about the organization and the individuals you met.  Evaluate whether this would be a good fit for you and your career plans.