You've searched, applied, and now it's time to make a great impression. Learn how to prepare, research, and present the best you to your prospective employer. Career Services offers a breadth of opportunities both online and in person through our office and campus events.
One of the best things to do is practice and go into the interview with a plan of what you want to convey. Career Services offers a multitude of opportunities and resources for you to refine your skills.
Before the Interview
Types of Interviews
The following video will describe and give helpful tips on how to master each of the following interview styles. There are some benefits and pitfalls to each type so it is important to be prepared for whatever type you are going into!
- Team/Panel Interview
- Telephone Interview
- Video Conferencing
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- Participate in a Mock Interview through Career Services - Make an appointment with one of our counselors for a practice interview and an individualized follow-up to help you improve.
- Practice in front of a mirror or with a friend, using these commonly asked interview questions.
- Be aware of nervous habits and body language.
Logistics and Planning
- Study the job description and research the organization. Be educated about the position!
- Plan your attire and make sure things are ready to go the day before. Don’t wait until the morning of your interview to learn how to iron.
- Prepare your materials: Copies of your resume, backup copies of your presentation printed or a backup version saved in another location.
- Plan your time for travel, and know the parking situation. Odds are you will need additional time to find parking and find your way to the interview.
- Be well rested.
During the Interview
- Arrive 10 minutes early
- Firm handshake
- Be mindful of your nervous habits (Verbal-slang, filler words, profanity and Non-verbal, posture, enthusiasm, hand gestures)
- Establish Eye-contact with all interviewers
- Smile, Be yourself! The interviewer is nervous too
- Keep answers concise, if you feel yourself rambling pause to collect your thoughts
- Never say anything negative about an individual or an organization. You never know who or what someone has a personal connection to
- Use the STAR Technique when answering questions
S - Situation (the context, what was happening)
T - Task (over-arching goals and objectives)
A - Action (how did you achieve XYZ)
R - Result (if it’s not positive say what you would change)
- Be sure to ask the interviewer 2-3 questions as well. Check out CareerOneStop for ideas on what is appropriate to ask!
After the Interview
- Send an email thank you and a formal thank you after the interview, or leave a thank you card the day of.
- Evaluate your performance post interview. What did you do great? What could you improve on next time?
- Make notes from the interview to prepare for a possible second interview. Things that stuck out as important to the interviewer you want to bring up or elaborate on.
Salary and Negotiations
You made it through the interview, and you got an offer! So what’s next? Do you take it or leave it? Learning how, when, and what to negotiate can be just as intimidating as the interviewing process itself! Check out the sections below to help you navigate the world of negotiations. Finding out what your company may be willing to meet you in the middle on may surprise you!
- Is This Offer Right For Me?: You got an offer! As exciting as this is, you don’t always have to take the first one that comes along. Maybe they are asking you to compromise on something you realize is very important to you. How do you know what offers to negotiate or take and which to pass on?
- LinkedIn Salary: Discover your earning potential with LinkedIn Salary. Explore salaries by job title and location. See how years of experience, industry, location and more can impact your salary.
- Reality Check Tool: How much money do you even need? How do you know if they are offering enough for you to live on? Use this website to find your desired salary range bases on your expenses and needed income.
- How much should I expect to make in my field? Knowing the average salary for not only your profession, but for your region will give you an edge when analyzing an offer!
- Educate to Career: How much should you be getting paid, based on your experience, location, and education.
- Salary Finder: Use this tool to find salary information for more than 800 different occupations. To start, either search for an occupation by keyword, or select an occupation from the list below.
What Can I Negotiate?
Remember that salary is only one part of job compensation. Often better benefits — like flexible schedules or excellent health insurance — make up for a lower salary. The list below is a great place to get ideas for negotiables!
Annual Salary/Hourly Rates
Short Term/Long Term Disability
Flexible Spending Accounts
Family/Domestic Partner Coverage
40lk programs: enrollment waiting period, company match percent, vesting timeframe
Stock Options: given, purchased, vesting timeframe
Company Leave of Absence Policy
Accelerated performance/ Salary review- 6 month versus year
Discounts on Activities: Health Club Memberships, Merchandise Discounts
Paid Time Off: Vacation, Sick Days, Holidays
Daycare Availability: OnSite, Daycare Discounts
Company Car/Car Allowance/Mileage Reimbursement
Incentives- cell phone, laptop, internet access at home, lunches, parking
Continuing Education, Tuition Reimbursement
Relocation expenses, moving trucks, rent, mortgages
If money is what you are planning to negotiate check out our Current Market Trends page or the Why Negotiate section on this page to view what other professionals in your field are making.
Check out the NACE Salary Survey, this contains annual salary projections for the Class of 2017 college graduates based on their field of study.
How to Negotiate
- How Do I Negotiate?: Now that you have considered the offer and decided it is the right one for you to pursue, let’s talk about negotiating! Where do you start? How do you navigate through? When is it appropriate? Use this link to get yourself familiar with the process!
Dress for Success
Appearance matters, whether it is an interview, networking event, or a normal day on the job. Often individuals don't know the difference between professional, business and business casual attire. The variations between the three can make a big difference in the way you are viewed. Learn the ins and outs of business dress all the way from your hair to your shoes.
Students, don't have anything to wear to an interview? Don't worry, Career Services can help. The Career Closet, located in Swenson Hall 1061 is a free service in which students are welcome to take one complete outfit.
Students have utilized the Career Closet in preparation for interviews, internships, job fairs or other events/activities requiring professional dress. When a student finds a item or outfit that they like, it is theirs to keep.
Career Closet items were generously donated by members of the UW-Superior faculty, staff and students, as well as local community members.
Categories of Dress
Business Professional Attire
- Business suits: navy, black or grey
- Shirt: long sleeved, button down, light in color
- Ties: reach to your belt line
- Shoes: leather, black or brown, lace-up. Heeled shoes should be 1-2 inch in height closed toe
- Socks: dark color matches, long enough not to show skin when legs are crossed
- Belt vs. Suspenders: one or the other
- Facial hair: should be well groomed
- Jewelry, make-up and nail polish: conservative color and minimal, one or two pieces
- Tops: blazers or casual jacket, sweater
- Bottoms: dress pants, dress, khakis, or skirt no shorter than three inches above knee
- Shirts and sweaters: button down, short or long sleeved, tucked in, no tie required, polo-type, crew neck sweaters, cardigans
- Socks: dark color, long enough not to show skin when legs are crossed
- Shoes: leather shoes, boots, oxfords, dress shoes
- Dresses: straps should be at least one inch wide, length no more than three inches above knee
- Facial hair: should be well groomed
Business Casual Attire
- Pants: dockers, khakis
- Skirts: casual cut, no more than three inches above the knee
- Shirts: short or long sleeve shirt, button up, polo, no t-shirts
- Shoes: loafers or lace ups, no athletic-type shoes
Whether it is meeting potential employers over dinner or chatting with new clientele at a lunch social, table manners and dining etiquette remain a crucial piece of first impressions and building professional relationships.
- US Dining Etiquette Guide - Utilize this guide to learn the ins and outs of American dining, general tips, and how to politely handle difficult foods such as artichokes, bread, caviar, shellfish, and more.
- International Dining Etiquette - Every country has their own ideas of manners and politeness. Make sure you are prepared so as not to offend your foreign hosts by reading this article from the BBC.
- Etiquette Dinner Presentation by Career Services - topics include Buffet Etiquette, General Social and Dining Etiquette Rules, Table Manners, Eating, Restaurant Etiquette, Dress Code, Making Small Talk