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Career Development Center

Prepare for Your Interview

Interviews—Your Chance to Shine

Interviews are your chance to shine, to show what you can bring to a business, but don’t take them for granted. Be ready when the big day comes by preparing, looking professional, and asking the right questions.

Always Prepare

Researching potential employers is essential. You should be knowledgeable about a company, what they do, and who they serve before going into an interview. We also recommend that you research the specific industry as well. Use resources such as the employer’s home page, college professors and other professionals already working in the field, stock-brokerage firms for annual reports, industry-related magazines or journals, or online career-research tools such as Vault and WetFeet.

Practicing your interview skills and techniques is a great way to gain interview experience. As a Purdue Fort Wayne student, you have access to Big Interview. This online service allows you to conduct as many virtual practice interviews as you need. You can even select questions by industry and major. Your responses are recorded so that you can review them later. You can also send your recorded interviews to our staff so that we can provide feedback.

Professional Appearance

If you’re looking to step into the professional world, it's important to dress the part. Aside from your résumé and cover letter, your appearance is one of the first ways to communicate your professionalism to others. Professional attire varies in different workplace environments, but looking your best for interviews is ideal. View page 12 of our Career Handbook for tips on what to wear.

The Mastodon Career Closet allows student to borrow professional clothing for interviews and networking events at no cost. Schedule an appointment to check out the Mastodon Career Closet in Neff Hall, Room 361.

Ask Questions

Interviews often end with the interviewer asking if you have any questions. It’s always best to have a few questions on hand that you want to ask the potential employer. Here are some ideas:

  • What are the opportunities for personal growth?
  • How is an employee evaluated and promoted?
  • Tell me about your initial and future training programs.
  • What are the challenging aspects of this job?
  • What are the organization’s plans for future growth?
  • Is the organization stable and financially sound?
  • What makes your company different from your competitors’ businesses?
  • How would you describe your organization’s personality and management style?
  • Is it an organizational policy to promote from within?
  • What are the expectations for new hires?
  • Describe the work environment.
  • What is the overall structure of the department where the position is located?
  • Why do you enjoy working for your organization?

During and after the Interview

While every interview is different, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with common interview questions:
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
  • How do you deal with conflict? Give me an example.
  • Give me an example of a time when you failed.
  • Tell me about a time when you showed initiative or took the lead.
  • Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.
  • Tell me about a time when you made an unpopular decision.

Some questions during an interview are not OK—in fact, some are illegal. Interviewers cannot ask if you are a US citizen, where you were born, what religion you follow, how you learned English, or how old you are.

For more information on how to navigate a situation where you are asked illegal questions, view our Career Handbook.

Meet with a career counselor to increase your chances of acing the interview—and your chances of being hired. Make an appointment in Handshake, contact us at [email protected] or 260-481-0689, or stop by the Career Development Center office in Kettler Hall, Room 109.