All interviewers want to know, "How will you add value to our company?" You should demonstrate how you desire to contribute to their mission while connecting your skills to their needs. The research used for your resume and cover letter should be utilized to prepare you for the interview. Remember: Practice makes perfect!


External Resources

Elevator Pitch

Most interviewers will first ask, "Tell me about yourself" and your Elevator Pitch is the 30 second description to express how you connect with the company.

Types of Interview Questions

Situational Questions

Questions that expect the interviewee to make a decision about how they would address a scenario, "What would you do if..." type phrases hint that it may be a situational question. The employer wants to know if the interviewee can handle the scenario appropriately.

Behavioral Questions

Questions that ask about how the interviewee handled past situations, such as "tell me about a time when..." are behavioral type questions.  Employers want to know if the actions of this individual have equipped them for the current job.

Negative Questions

Use a positive response to a negative question. "Did you like your previous job?" may be an example of a negative question, so you could instead express what you learned from your past position, focusing on the positives.

Skill-Based Questions

Many of the common interview questions will be assessing the skills and abilities of the interviewee, searching for strengths and weaknesses. Use real situations and stories to make skills tangible and personal.

Answering Strategies


When answering questions, use the Challenge-Action-Result model to formulate stories and responses.  Highlight a challenge that happened, describe the action taken in regard to the challenge, and finish with the results of this action. Make sure that your action is positive.

5-Finger Rule

What skills are needed to be successful in this position? Assign a relevant, major point or story to each of your five fingers to get across in an interview.  Make sure these points are conveyed no matter what!

Communicating Personal Brand

After the interview is complete, the employer is left with an impression of the interviewee.  Use the interview to craft and shape the impression that lingers after the conversation is over.  Strategically communicate skills that will leave a positive branding impact.

Thank You Letter/Note

Thank you letters should always be sent within 24 hours after the interview. This allows you to show genuine gratitude and keeps your name in front of the interviewer. Remind the employer how you fit with his/her company, highlighting specific skills that connect you to the organization.

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