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Alert updated: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:50 PM

Interview TipsInterviewing Guide

GOAL

To demonstrate how your skills and qualifications make you an ideal candidate for the position

PURPOSE

• Express your strong work ethic and desire to learn
• Show that you fit in with the company's culture, and have a passion for their mission
• Prove that you can work independently and in a team environment

BE PREPARED!

Preparation is one of the most important things when it comes to successful interviewing. Here are some things you should prepare for in your interview:
• Research the company inside and out: review their history, as well as current events, and company culture. Look at the company's website and Google anyone you know who already works there
• Have insightful questions for the interviewer: it shows you are genuinely interested in the company and the position
• Review your résumé and application: make sure you can talk about everything in it, what you got out of that experience, and which experiences you want to emphasize
• Practice answering expected questions with a related story that ends in a positive result
• Be prepared to answer thoroughly and provide examples, but do not give long, run-on answers

SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Check out the list of sample interview questions: Here

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW

• Practice your answers multiple times! Know your résumé and never exaggerate; any bullet is open to questioning
• Bring 3-5 copies of your most updated résumé
• Bring a research presentation poster or interesting engineering project on a single piece of paper that you can discuss with the interviewer
• Dress to impress! It is better to overdress than underdress; however business professional is typical in an interview - have clean, pressed clothes make sure you are neatly groomed
• Arrive 10 minutes early; plan ahead so you know where you're going
• Think of insightful questions to ask your interviewer to demonstrate that you're genuinely interested in the company and industry and that you've done your research

DURING THE INTERVIEW

• Be yourself; your answers should come naturally
• Relax; you have little to worry about if you've prepared and practiced your answers
• Slow down, control the pitch of your voice and speak with confidence
• Pause, take a deep breath before your answer in order to relax your larynx
• Remember your body language
• Body language is important: you want to look professional, not uncomfortable; nod while you listen and make eye contact to show that you are listening and understanding; remember to smile
• Turn your weaknesses into strengths: explain how you've learned to overcome a particular weakness; don't blame team members for the failure in a group project; focus on the positive, what you learned from the experience
• Ask questions that focus on the work, not the pay
• Get the interviewer's business card and contact information to send a thank you email

TYPES OF INTERVIEWS

There are several types of interviews that you may encounter in your career. Each one should be prepared for differently, however the purpose of them is the same: to make a good impression and prove that you are a good candidate for the position
Behavioral Interview: To see your ability to work in a team and to see your degree of work ethic; this type of interview acts as an initial screening of potential candidates
Technical Interview: To verify your background and skills and how it correlates to the position
One-on-One Interview: This would be the most common interview, most likely with a single project leader or engineer of the desired position
Panel Interview: This consists of a group of 2-4 employees, most likely part of the team of the desired position; it allows the whole team to get to know you as opposed to just one person
Phone Interview: This is also a very common type of interview; it can be in the form of a one-on-one or a panel interview. This takes the places of a normal in-person interview when the location or time prohibits a traditional interview
Virtual Interview: This has become more common and is beginning to replace phone interviews. Essentially, it is like a one-on-one interview; however, it is done via video chat
Informational Interview: This is a less formal type of interview. Perhaps it is just meeting with an employee at a coffee shop to learn more about what he or she does. Although it is not a strict interview, it should be treated similarly. The intent is to gain knowledge from someone more experienced in your interests, while also leaving lasting impressions for future opportunities

AFTER THE INTERVIEW

• Send a brief thank you e-mail within 24 hours of your interview; relate back to a topic you discussed with the interviewer and offer to provide any other information they may need.

COMMON MISTAKES

• Know what you want to say, but don't memorize
• Never make up an answer; it is not only unethical, the interviewer will likely sense the false answer
• Don't talk too much or simply recite a laundry list of your experiences

Last Updated: 4/9/14