University at Albany

The Day of the Interview

Hints and tips for right before the interview, during the interview and after. 

Before the Interview
You need to make sure you are dressed appropriately.  Questions to ask yourself are:

  • Does my suit need to be dry cleaned?
  • Is my shirt/blouse cleaned and pressed?
  • Are my shoes shined?
  • Men: Do I have clean, dark socks?
  • Women: Do I have 2 pairs of pantyhose with no runs?

After getting your clothes ready for your interview, pay attention to your grooming.  Although there are different expectations for grooming throughout the world, in the United States recruiters will expect you to shower, wear deodorant, and wear clean clothes. Additional suggestions

  • Men should shave or trim their beards/mustaches
  • Women should wear minimal, subtle makeup and jewelry
  • Everyone should wear subtle cologne.  You should be known for your qualities and skills, not your SCENT!!
  • If possible, remove all facial piercings (except earrings) and cover all tattoos.

Arriving at the Interview

Make sure you arrive in the office 10 minutes before the interview is schedule to begin.  If you need to drive a distance, make sure you get to the area 30 – 45 minutes early.  In this case do not enter the office itself until 10 minutes before the interview.

Once you arrive at the building, the interview process has begun. You can be judged by how you behave with parking attendants, receptionists, and security guards. Greet everyone you meet with courtesy. Receptionists and secretaries often have input into hiring decisions.

The Interview Process 

The interview process usually begins with introductions.  Be sure to make a firm handshake, maintain eye contact and greet everyone by name.  If you cannot pronounce someone’s name correctly, ask them to repeat their name and then repeat it back.

Interviews usually start with some small talk to break the ice but it will quickly move to their interview questions.  Usually, an interview goes back and forth like a conversation.  The interviewer should take the lead but when they have asked all of their questions, be prepared to ask questions you have prepared.

Here are lists of Sample Questions

When answering questions, be sure to

  • Never speak negatively about former employers
  • Listen carefully and take your time answering
  • Speak clearly and concisely (Never use slang or incorrect grammar)
  • Emphasize your strengths
  • Discuss your weaknesses only when asked, and then do so in a positive light

Wrapping Up

At the end of the interview,

  • Ask the interviewer what is the next step in the interview process and when you will hear from them
  • Let them know that you’re interested in the job and that you feel you would be an excellent candidate.  At this time, be sure to be confident, not ARROGANT!
  • Make sure you get business cards from everyone.  This will help with spelling names when writing thank you letters