Whether you have a phone, in-person or video interview coming up, it’s time to get ready. Research the organization so you can communicate your connection to their mission and day-to-day work. Practice interview questions. Learn how to make a positive impression on an employer. Whatever you need to do to prepare, these tools can get you started.
When getting ready for your interview, consider big-picture responses, responses that demonstrate specific qualifications for the job and those that showcase your accomplishments and how you've overcome obstacles.
First impressions matter, and you'll make a bigger impact if you dress in slightly more formal attire at your interview than is typical for the work environment you hope to join and if you follow up after the interview.
Really want to up your interview skills? Use our interactive video interviewing tool, StandOut, and practice when it is convenient to you. Review our guide on recording practice interviews and sharing with faculty and mentors for feedback, and check out our Informational Interviews and Job Shadows page.
Know that salary negotiation is perfectly normal and expected for most full time job offers. And the compounding effect of avoiding negotiation hurts — big time. Assuming an average annual pay increase of 5%, an employee whose starting salary was $55,000 rather than $50,000 would earn an additional $600,000+ over the course of a 40-year career (Source: The Journal of Organizational Behavior).
So do your research on what someone of your qualifications typically makes in a similar role to the one you’ve been offered and then prepare yourself to make a case for what you believe you should be paid. Don’t be afraid to ask; as long as you are polite and not demanding, rescinding an offer is very uncommon. But before you ask, study up on salary negotiation techniques.
Salary Negotiation Resources:
No one should feel marginalized in the workplace. In your research into good career fits, look for organizations with strong commitments to diversity and inclusion listed on their websites or in job descriptions, and network with current employees to ask about company culture. In the interview and on the job, dress in a way that matches norms for the industry but also makes you feel comfortable and aligns with your identity. See our Resource Guide for LGBTQ+ students!
It’s important to highlight your valuable military experience and the skills you gained from it, but avoid jargon that is unfamiliar to civilians. Relate your military experience to how you will be able to perform in your new role. And make sure to visit the Career Development Center to conduct a practice interview as well as Military & Veteran Resources for advice on how to translate your military skills for specific job opportunities. See our Resource Guide for Student Veterans!
Want more tips? Watch this interview lecture from one of our career advisors.