Personnel / Recruiting DIVISION

Specializing in Engineering and Skilled Trades Personnel

Interview Tips

Phone Interviews

  • Remember that tone of voice carries a lot of weight in a telephone conversation.
  • You don't have facial expressions, body language, and other non-verbal elements coming through in a phone conversation. However, silly as it may seem, smiling while you speak on the phone can make you sound more pleasant.
  • Ask friends (who will tell you the truth) how you sound on the phone. They know you, but an employer doesn't. Do you sound cordial or aloof, articulate or fumbling, interested or gloomy?
  • Practice how you speak on the phone.
  • Be prepared. You wouldn't go into a traditional interview without rehearsing first, so don't start a telephone interview unprepared. Have your job search organization folder near so you can refer to it if you need to. Where to do quick research? Check out the company's internet will be full of valuable company information, press releases, etc.
  • Smile & stand up. It carries through in your voice. By standing up, more enthusiasm and energy is infused into your voice and you come across as a more vital candidate.
  • If the employer catches you at a bad time and you can't speak, don't hesitate to politely explain this and offer to call back at a time convenient to the employer.

Personal Interviews


  • Dress appropriately for the industry; err on the side of being conservative to show you take the interview seriously. Your personal grooming and cleanliness should be impeccable.
  • Know the exact time and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there, park, find a rest room to freshen up, etc.
  • Arrive early; 10 minutes prior to the interview start time.
  • Treat other people you encounter with courtesy and respect. Their opinions of you might be solicited during hiring decisions.
  • Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer. Listen to be sure you understand your interviewer's name and the correct pronunciation.
  • Even when your interviewer gives you a first and last name, address your interviewer by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name, until invited to do otherwise.
  • Maintain good eye contact during the interview.
  • Ask for clarification if you don't understand a question.
  • Have intelligent questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Having done your research about the employer in advance, ask questions which you did not find answered in your research.
  • Write a thank you letter to your interviewer promptly.


  • Don't make excuses. Take responsibility for your decisions and your actions.
  • Don't make negative comments about previous employers or professors (or others).
  • Don't treat the interview casually, as if you are just shopping around or doing the interview for practice. This is an insult to the interviewer and to the organization.
  • Don't chew gum or smell like smoke.
  • Don't take cell phone calls during an interview. If you carry a cell phone, turn it off during the interview to be sure it doesn't ring.
  • Don't act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
  • Don't be unprepared for typical interview questions. You may not be asked all of them in every interview, but being unprepared looks foolish.
  • A job search can be hard work and involve frustrations; don't exhibit frustrations or a negative attitude in an interview.
  • Don't give the impression that you are only interested in an organization because of its geographic location.

Interview Questions

  • Would you describe a typical work day and the things I'd be doing?
  • What duties are most important for this job? Least important?
  • How would I be trained or introduced to the job?
  • How is the job important to the company - how does it contribute?
  • What are the department's goals for the year?
  • Who are the other people I'd be working with and what do they do?
  • Can someone in this job be promoted? If so, to what position?
  • How will I get feedback on my job performance?
  • If hired, would I report directly to you, or to someone else?
  • Has the company had a layoff in the last three years? How long was the layoff?
  • Was everyone recalled?
  • Are sales up or down over last year?
  • If you were to offer me this job, where could I expect to be five years from today?
  • How would you describe your most successful employee?
  • Do you think I'll find this job to be challenging and stimulating?
  • Could you give me a tour? I'd enjoy seeing where your people work.
  • What could I say or do to convince you to offer me the job?