General Interviewing Tips

The key to interviewing well is preparation. Everyone, no matter how qualified they are, must prepare for an interview if they are to succeed. This involves researching the company, reviewing interview questions, dressing well, and getting a good amount of sleep. This site aims to assist you in preparing yourself for your interview. We wish you the best in your career pursuits.

Successful interview candidates are professional, personable, and prepared.

~ Eric Vanderburg

Statistics show that job seekers may send upwards of 100 applications before getting an interview (Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development [DEED]). It gets hard to keep everything straight when you have applied for so many positions. Keeping a list of each application, the job title, job description, contact person, date applied, and any follow-up times is a very important part of keeping track of all your applications. Make sure that you download the job description when creating this list because postings are often taken down or hard to find once someone from HR contacts you.

The interview consists of more than a meeting

You are being critiqued from the very first phone call so make sure you know where you have put in applications so that you can respond well to the interview invitation. It is very easy for an interviewer or HR person to see when you have not prepared or do not remember the position. This will cause them to view you in a more negative light as it seems like you do not value the position. Once you have an interview scheduled, begin the rest of your preparation.


  • Research the company you are interviewing with.
  • Review possible interview questions and have answers ready.
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer.
  • Set out clothes in advanced and map out the location of the interview.
  • Write down the name of the person or persons you will be interviewing with and read about them if they are on the company web site or mentioned in company news.

Asking Questions

The interview is a chance for you to determine whether the company is right for you. Take the opportunity and observe the workplace when you go for your interview. Observe the working relationships, work environment, and how the company treats their customers. Take note of the things you like and disklike as these could be important to whether or not you want the job. Still, give the employer a fair chance too. You can follow up on your observations when you are given the chance to ask questions in the interview.

Construct a list of about ten questions. You should ask some of the questions that have not been addressed in the interview depending on whom you are meeting with and then follow up on items mentioned in the interview with further questions. Asking questions about items from the interview shows that you were paying attention and that you are interested in the position.

You may interview with a hiring manager, HR manager, or the functional manager. When interviewing with the hiring manager, ask about the position, what qualities they are looking for in a candidate, and some of the particular challenges he or she believes you might face. When interviewing with the HR manager, ask some questions about the company and/or the specific department you are applying to work in. When interviewing with the functional manager, ask about the industry and future projections. This last interview is your chance to demonstrate your industry knowledge. You don't have to wait for the interviewer to ask you for questions. Feel free to ask questions during the interview as well. As always, pay attention to the body language of the interviewer when asking questions. In structured interviews the interviewer will need to ask specific questions and they will want to establish a pace so in these cirumstances questions are best saved for last.