Ultimate Guide to "In - Person Interviews"

  • Before The Interview


    • Schedule a mock interview with your career consultant.
    • Obtain the interviewer’s name and title.
    • Research the position and organization / company thoroughly.
    • Review common questions and practice answering them.
    • Understand the four main types of interview questions, and how to prepare for them.
    • Plan what to wear. Check out the tip sheet on WHAT TO WEAR TO AN INTERVIEW.


    • Don’t forget the details. Confirm the time, date and location.
    • Don’t prepare for each interview the same way. Identify your skills that relate to each job; review your resume and be able to demonstrate how you’re a good fit for the role.
    • Don’t forget that you will need to assess if the job and organization are a good fit for you, too. Prepare 3-5 questions to ask.
    • Don’t plan to ask questions about salary and benefits but do some research to learn the general salary range for the position.

    During The Interview


    • Relax, be yourself, and be positive.
    • Listen closely to questions; ask for clarification if needed.
    • Be aware of your posture, eye contact, and body language.
    • Be sure to clarify any follow-up arrangements.
    • Time your arrival to 10-15 minutes before the interview start time and bring extra copies of your resume.


    • Don’t ramble. Be concise in your answers and give concrete examples to back up your claims.
    • Don’t slight a former employer or colleague. Keep everything as positive as possible. After The Interview


    • Write a thank you email to the interviewer(s).
    • Evaluate your performance by asking yourself questions such as: “How well did I present my qualifications?” “Did I use clear, concrete examples?” “How can I improve for my next interview?”
    • Follow up with a phone call to find out the status of your application if the employer has not contacted you within the stated timeframe.


    • Don’t have any spelling or grammatical errors in your follow-up.
    • Don’t be afraid to express your interest in the position. Make it known why you are an ideal candidate.
    • Don’t stop your job search after one interview. Most students experience several interviews before landing an offer.


    Career Center Tips

    Main Types of Interviews

    • Traditional: Gains basic information about an applicant’s background, interests, skills, and reasons for applying.
    • Behavioral: Based on the premise that past behavior predicts future behavior on the job. Questions are situation-based and often start with, “Tell me about a time when...”
    • Case: Presents the interviewee with a problem to solve.  Getting the correct answer is not as important as your analysis of the problem.
    • Situational: Presents the interviewee with a scenario to solve. The interviewer will pose a hypothetical situation and ask the interviewee how to resolve it.
  • Sample Interview Questions

    Sample Behavioral Questions

    • Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a difference of opinion with a co-worker, customer, or supervisor. How do you feel you showed respect?
    • Tell me about a time you failed at something.
    • Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a deadline. How did you handle it?
    • Describe the most creative presentation or idea that you developed or implemented.
    • Tell me about a tough decision you made. What steps and considerations did you take to make that decision?
    • What have you done in your present or previous job that goes beyond what was required?
    • Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to approach things your way.
    • Tell me about a time when you faced an ethical dilemma and how you handled it.
    • What are three effective leadership qualities you think are important? How have you demonstrated these qualities in your past or current position?
    • Give me a specific example of a time when you had to address an angry customer. What was the problem and what was the outcome?
    • Tell me about a time when you demonstrated excellent communication skills. What did you need to communicate, and how did you communicate the information clearly?

    Sample Situational Questions

    • What would you do if the priorities suddenly changed on a project you were working on?
    • What would you do if a team member was not meeting your expectations?

    Sample Traditional Questions 

    • Tell me about yourself.
    • Why are you interested in this position?
    • What do you know about our company/ organization/school?
    • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
    • What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
    • How would a friend or professor describe you?
    • Why did you select your college/university/ major?
    • What are your future career goals? 5 years? 10 years?
    • Why should I hire you over any other candidate?

    Sample Case Questions

    Tip: Look at Career Insider powered by the Vault for case interview guides: career.uga.edu/resources/on-line resources

    • How many pennies would it take to reach from the ground to the top of the empire state building?
    • How many telephones are there in the U.S.?
    • How would you redesign an ATM machine to make it more user-friendly?
    • How many gallons of gasoline does an average gas station is America sell on an average day?


    Questions To Ask Employers

    Tip: State your company research. Ask a question. Example: I saw in the job description that I would be working on A, B & C. How much time will I spend on each area in a typical day?

    • How much travel will be involved in the position?
    • How would you describe the work environment? Company culture?
    • What type of training program or orientation does a new employee receive?
    • What is the typical career path of someone in this position?
    • What are the next steps in your search process, and what is your hiring timeline for this position?