Interviewing Tips

Want to make a great impression and land your dream job? Follow our easy steps to interview success.

Do Your Research

Knowing about the position and company is vital to the job interview process. Research the company on their own website to find out their mission, history, and qualifications for the position, as well as others like Glassdoor or Forbes to learn about the history and what it’s like to work there.

Sell Yourself

Prepare to describe yourself to demonstrate that you will be a valuable addition to the organization. The best way to convince the boss that you can do the job is to illustrate how you have performed similar tasks in the past. Select accomplishments you want to emphasize based on what you know about the company and the position.

Prepare Answers for Difficult Questions

Experienced recruiters often ask difficult questions. Although you cannot anticipate every question, you can prepare your responses and practice answering difficult questions by making a list of your accomplishments ahead of time and following each relevant skill you mention with a concrete example by telling a story. See the sample interview questions section below and prepare answers for each question.

  • Sample Interview Questions

    Introductory Questions

    • Tell me about yourself.
    • What are the most important rewards you expect in your business career?
    • How would a close friend or co-worker describe you?
    • What was the most difficult situation you ever faced? How did you react?
    • Give an example of a time when you took initiative in a work situation.
    • Why did you choose the career for which you are preparing?
    • How has your college experience prepared you for a professional career?
    • Of the jobs you've held, which one did you enjoy the most? The least?
    • How would you describe your organizational skills?
    • What is not on your résumé that you would like to tell me?
    • Why did you decide to attend Manhattan College?
    • If you had the chance to repeat your college career, what would you do differently?
    • Which of your accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction?
    • What do you think would be the most demanding aspects of this job for you?
    • Where do you expect to be in one year, three years, ten years? How will you achieve your goals?
    • What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
    • Do you think your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement?

    Behavioral Interviewing Questions

    • Give me a specific example of something you did that helped build enthusiasm in others.
    • Tell me about a difficult situation when it was desirable for you to keep a positive attitude. What did you do?
    • Give me an example of a time you had to make an important decision. How did you make the decision? How does it affect you today?
    • Give me an example of a time you had to persuade other people to take action. Were you successful?
    • Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult person. How did you handle the situation?
    • Tell me about a time you had to handle multiple responsibilities. How did you organize the work you needed to do?

Prepare Questions to Ask

Take the time to develop relevant and insightful questions for each interview because that will let the employer know that you are interested in the organization and the position.

  • Following a successful tenure in an entry-level position, what type of mobility is available within the organization?
  • What is the typical daily routine of an individual in the position for which I am applying?
  • Is it your policy to promote from within, or are positions filled by experienced people from the outside?
  • What type of professional development is encouraged and offered by your organization?
  • What do you like about working for this company?
  • How would you describe the corporate culture?
  • How does technology impact your business and work culture?
  • Where is the company strong and where does it need to be strengthened?

Arrive On Time, and Say Thank You

Arrive a few minutes prior to your interview time, sign in at the front desk, and wait in the reception area until the interviewer greets you. Remember to show off your verbal and non-verbal interview skills. Also, make sure you get the interviewer’s contact information and write a thank you email within 24 hours to the person with whom you interviewed.

Types of Interviews

There are several different types of interviews you may have to do. Make sure you know which type of interview you are doing and prepare accordingly.

  • Telephone Interview: Interviews over the telephone are typically done as the first phase of the interview process before bringing a candidate in for an in-person interview. Prepare for a phone interview just as you would for a regular interview.
  • Traditional Face-to-Face Interview: This is the most common type of interview that includes a face-to-face exchange at an organization’s office. 
  • Informational Interview: The object of this type of interview is to talk to experts in a particular field, employers, or job contacts in order to become more knowledgeable and informed, and make networking contacts.
  • Virtual Interviews: Virtual interviews are very common these days and should be taken just as seriously as face-to-face interviews. Common mediums include Skype and Google Hangout. 
  • Group Interviews: In this situation, you’ll meet with several people at once. While it can seem intimidating at first, finding out the names and job titles of each member of the team beforehand and making an effort to connect with each individual through eye contact are helpful.

Dress for Success

Your appearance indicates your professionalism and respect for the interviewer(s), the company and the interview process. Additionally, your attire may encourage people to take you and what you say more seriously, and give you a boost in self-image and confidence - all of which are important advantages. In general, the preferred dress for an interview is traditional and conservative.

To assist students who don't own a suit, we offer Suit Up, a free program which provides suits and business attire for current Manhattan College students to wear for interviews and networking events where business formal attire is expected. We have suits for both men and women.

General Interview Dress Tips

Remember first impressions are lasting impressions. The assessment of your qualifications begins with non-verbal cues; such as the style, fit, color and cleanliness of your clothes; your choice of accessories; the firmness of your handshake; your posture; your demeanor; and your level of eye contact, enthusiasm and confidence. Do your homework: workplace culture will affect what is considered appropriate interview/office attire. Below you will find general guidelines:

  • Hair should be tidy, freshly shampooed and off the face
    • Headdress should be neutral colors
  • Clothes should be cleaned, ironed and well-fitted
  • Shoes should be dark, polished and clean
  • Limit jewelry and accessories
  • Tattoos are no longer taboo; however, industry standards suggest to cover them
  • Eliminate fragrances
  • No chewing gum
  • Stay fresh- shower and brush your teeth before an interview
  • Keep it simple and elegant; when in doubt leave it out

Tips for Women

  • Dark two-piece suit (skirt, trousers, or a tailored dress)
  • Blouses should be well-fitted, with a high/moderate neckline (no low cut shirts)
  • Knee-length skirts and dresses
    • An inch above or below the knee is acceptable
    • No close-fitting attire (there should be no need to tug or adjust material)
  • Hosiery should be non-patterned, sheer or nude toned
    • Always carry an extra pair in case of runs
  • Clean, comfortable, closed-toe, 1-2 inches pumps/shoes in dark traditional colors
  • Minimal jewelry
  • Accessorize with a purse/briefcase and a pad-folio
  • Apply little or no make-up
  • Nails should be clean, cut with or without a natural pink/clear polish
  • No perfume

Tips for Men

  • Dark two/three- piece suit (solid or narrow pinstriped)
  • Long-sleeved dress shirt in white or a light blue (sleeves should extend to wrist)
  • Always wear a tie (visit tiepedia for detailed assistance)
  • Socks should be calf-length or higher in navy, black or gray (no white socks)
  • Clean, dark polished shoes
  • Minimize jewelry
  • Carry a briefcase, a pad-folio or a backpack
  • Well-groomed hair and tapered/no facial hair
  • Compliment your suit with a leather belt that matches your shoes
  • Nails should be clean and cut
  • No cologne