Knowing proper job interview etiquette is an important part of successful interviewing. How you dress, what you bring to a job interview, how you greet the interviewer, and how you communicate can all make a big difference in the outcome of the interview.

Watch this video featuring a recruiter at Ryan, LLC speaking about Pre-Interview Tips, Professional Dress, Virtual Interviewing Dos and Don’ts, and After the Interview.

  • Interview Success Strategies

    Below are some guidelines for you to follow as you prepare for an interview:

    1. • Review the job posting in great detail.
    2. • Research the company and find out as much as possible about the employer.
    3. • Prepare relevant answers to common interview questions.
    4. • Memorize good examples that demonstrate the key behaviors required for the job.
    5. • Anticipate any red flag areas from your résumé and be prepared to discuss them.
    6. • Consider your strengths and how they can add value to the job.
    7. • Prepare questions to ask interviewer.
    8. • If the interview site is local, visit the location in advance so that you know where you are going and can arrive stress free and on time.
    9. • Practice interviewing using Big Interview.
    10. • Schedule an appointment with your Career Coach for a mock interview and to receive assistance with other helpful interviewing tips.
    11. • If you’re feeling stressed or nervous about an interview, you may find this article from Psychology Today helpful: 10 Ways to Calm Your Interview Anxiety

Types of Interviews

Informational Interviews

  • What Is an Informational Interview?
  • Many times, it is imperative to look beyond the traditional scope of job and internship postings. Often, you’ll need to tap into the “hidden job market,” that mysterious place where employers use networking and word of mouth to find worthy candidates. Here is where informational interviewing comes into play. At its core, it’s a personal meeting or connection with an employer where you are leading the conversation in order to find out more about that person’s career path and their organization’s principles and core beliefs.This conversation can take place in a variety of ways: face-to-face, phone, email, or Skype. Regardless of the manner in which it’s conducted, the process allows you to make a positive impression on a company representative outside of the confines of a traditional job interview. Furthermore, you are investing time in building relationships that could lead to future career opportunities. Be sure to have a list of questions ready and prepared. Conduct your research ahead of time and look to get specific feedback in the area in which you are most interested. Take notes and follow up afterwards with a short thank you email.

What It’s Not:
These meetings should not be used as opportunities to plead for a certain position. It is likely that the person with whom you are meeting is taking time out of his/her schedule to offer advice and give you feedback. Be sure not to take advantage of that person’s generosity by being too pushy. Remember the adage: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

How Can You Maximize the Conversation?
Identify who you are and what you want. It sounds simple, but it is vital to have a clear representation of your image. Develop a plan for what you want to
communicate in terms of your future goals, strengths/ weaknesses, and skill sets. Be confident in your accomplishments and genuine in your desires to learn more. It would be helpful to develop your “Elevator Pitch” ahead of time.

Some Potential Contacts for an Informational Interview:

  • Faculty members
  • Past supervisors or co-workers
  • Friends and/or family members
  • Contacts you’ve made at UNT career fairs
  • Social Media followers and influencers
  • UNT Alumni
  • LinkedIn Alumni

    2. Behavioral Interviews

      • What is Behavior-Based Interviewing?
      • With behavior-based interviewing, questions are focused on actions and behaviors rather than subjective impressions. This approach to interviewing is designed to minimize personal impressions that can affect the hiring decision. It is based on the premise that the best way to predict future behavior is to explore past behavior.
      • What Do Employers Evaluate in a Behavioral Interview?
      • During a behavioral interview, employers evaluate:
        • Content Skills – Knowledge that is work specific, such as computer programming or accounting skills.
        • Functional or Transferable Skills – Basic skills that are used to perform general tasks or functions of a job and can be transferred from one job to another, such as organization, communication, and critical thinking abilities.
        • Adaptive or Self-Management Skills – Characteristics such as dependable, team player, self-directed, and punctual.

      • Three Most Common Question Types
        • Theoretical – Place you in hypothetical situations and are used to test your skill at answering questions.
        • Example: How would you organize your friends to help you move into a new apartment?
        • Leading – Hint at the answer the interviewer is seeking by the way they are phrased.
        • Example: Working on your own doesn’t bother you, does it?
        • Behavioral – Seek demonstrated examples of behavior from past experiences and concentrate on job-related functions. They are usually open-ended questions; not yes or no.
        • Example: Why did you decide to major in this program at UNT rather than a small, private college?
      • How to Best Answer Behavior-Based Questions
      • When answering questions, use the STAR Method to recall recent situations that show favorable behaviors or actions.
        • Situation – Use specific details about a situation or task.
        • Task – Tell what led to it.
        • Action – Discuss what you did and who was involved.
        • Result – What was the outcome?

Common Interview Questions

Below are some common interview questions. It’s a good idea to think about how you would respond to each of them prior to an interview, keeping in mind the position you’re applying for and the details of the job posting.

  • Common Interview Questions

    • • Tell me about yourself.
      • What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
      • What do you know about our organization?
      • What do you look for in a job?
      • Why are you leaving your current job? What was wrong?
      • How do you cope with stress on the job?
      • What did you like least/most about your last job?
      • What did you like least/most about your last boss?
      • Why did you choose a major in?
      • Do you work well under pressure?
      • What are your three most important accomplishments so far?
      • What would you do if…? What if that did not work?
      • How would someone you work with describe you?
      • What percentage did you contribute to financing your education?
      • How will your major strengths help you in this job?
      • Why do you want to work for this organization?
      • How do your subordinates get along with you?
      • What kinds of people attract you? Annoy you?
      • Tell me about a time that you identified a problem and took it upon yourself to solve it without being asked.
      • Can you take instructions without feeling upset or hurt?
      • What have you done that shows initiative and willingness to work?
      • Tell me about a situation in which you have had to adjust to changes over which you had no control? How did you handle it?
      • What are your short-range and long-range goals?
      • According to your definition, how successful have you been so far? Why?
      • Tell me what skills you have that lend to this type of work?
      • Discuss a time when your integrity was challenged. How did you handle it?
      • What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision? Why?
      • What is the most difficult situation you have faced?
      • Explain your role as a group/team member?
      • What kind of books/magazines do you read?
      • What salary do you expect, if we offer this position to you?
      • Do you have any questions for me?

Questions to Ask During an Interview

At the end of an interview, it is common to be asked if you have any questions. Asking 2-3 questions will let the interviewer know that you are interested in the company and the position. Below are some questions to consider asking.

  • Questions About the Job

    • • How would you describe a typical workday?
      • What are some of the objectives you would like to see accomplished in this job?
      • What is most pressing in the beginning? What would you like to have done within the next three months?
      • Would I be required to supervise other employees? If so, how many?
      • What are some of the more difficult challenges one would face in this position?
      • How does this position contribute to the company?
      • Is there any travel involved with this position?
      • If hired, who would I report to?
      • If hired, who would be the primary people I would be working with?
      • If hired, would I be replacing someone or is this a newly created job?
      • How would I get feedback on my job performance?
  • Questions About the Company

    • • How many employees work for the company?
      • Can you tell me about the company’s goals?
      • In what direction do you see the organization heading over the next few years?
      • How would you describe the culture of the company?
      • What are some of the challenges of the organization?
      • What significant changes do you foresee in the near future?
      • What do you see as the trends in the industry?
      • Is there anything else that you think I should know about the company?
  • Questions for the Manager

    • • How would you describe your management style?
      • How do you communicate with your employees?
      • How long have you been in your position?
      • What do you find most satisfying about working for this company?
  • Questions Focused on What You Can Offer an Employer

    • • What kind of person are you seeking for the position?
      • What characteristics and skills would a person need to be successful in this job?
      • What additional skills, such as languages or computer skills are particularly valuable?
  • Questions About the Hiring Process

    • • What is the next step in the process?
      • How will candidates be notified about the decision?

Practice Interviewing – Big Interview

Big Interview is a free training system that features a new and innovative way to help you prepare more effectively for a job interview. Big Interview is an on-line system that combines training and practice to help improve your interview technique and build your confidence.

You have at your disposal a variety of tools including:
Challenging, virtual mock interviews for all experience levels and dozens of industries.

  • A database of thousands of interview questions with tips on how to answer them.
  • The ability to rate and share your interview answers for feedback.
  • A comprehensive video training curriculum covering all aspects of landing a job.
  • A step-by-step interview Answer Builder for crafting answers to behavioral questions.

Check out Big Interview. Watch this video to learn more about Getting Started with Big Interview.

Dressing for the Interview

Before you say a single word to the interviewer, you have already made an impression based on how you’re dressed. Dressing professionally shows respect for yourself, the interviewer, and the company. You may not have to dress like this every day, but you are more likely to be taken seriously when you present yourself in a professional manner and take the time to attend to details.

  • Guidelines for Women and Men:

    • Both:
    • • Clean, neatly dressed clothes.
      • Conservative two-piece business suit (solid dark blue, black, or gray is best).
      • Conservative long-sleeved blouse/shirt (white is best, pastel is next best).
      • Clean polished conservative shoes.
      • Well-groomed hairstyle.
      • Clean trimmed fingernails.
      • No cologne or perfume.
      • Empty pockets – no bulges or clanking coins.
      • No gum, candy, or cigarettes.
      • Light briefcase or portfolio case.
      • No visible body piercing (Nose rings, eyebrow rings, etc.).
    • Women:
      • A suit with a knee-length skirt and a tailored blouse is most appropriate.
      • Closed toe shoes; 2-3 inches in height.
      • No tight clothing.
      • No cleavage or short skirts.
      • Minimal use of make-up.
      • Jewelry in moderation.
    • Men:
      • Necktie should be silk with a conservative pattern.
      • Dark socks and shoes.
      • Belt color should match shoes.
      • Button jacket when standing.
      • Mustaches must be neat and trimmed.
      • No rings other than college and/or wedding ring.
      • No earrings.

If your day-to-day attire doesn’t conform to a traditional gender norm, your interview clothing doesn’t have to either. There should be no position that requires you to dress in a way that makes you uncomfortable. Regardless of how you identify, the key to appropriate dress is to find clothing that fits you properly and looks polished and professional. The most important thing you bring to an interview is confidence. What you wear and how you wear it helps convey that confidence. If you are not comfortable in your outfit, that will come across in an interview.

Interview Policies for Students and Alumni

On or Off Campus Employer Interviews

  • No Show Policy

    • • Due to the professional nature of on-campus interviews, the following policy will be enforced when a candidate fails to cancel in a timely manner or fails to show up for a previously scheduled interview. Candidates who “no show” for an interview will be temporarily suspended from using the Handshake system.
      • Candidates may remove themselves from an interview schedule through the Handshake system up to two working days prior to the on-campus interview. A cancellation occurring after this time will be considered a “no show.”
  • Virtual or Phone Interview – Room Reservations

    • • Students/alumni who have an upcoming phone or virtual interview may complete the request form in Handshake to use one of the interview rooms in the UNT Career Center, located in Chestnut Hall, Suite 103.
      • Reservations will only be approved when a space is available for the date requested. If your request is approved, a staff member will be in contact with you to confirm your reservation.To request an interview suite• Log into your Handshake account.
      • On the top right, click on Career Center > Appointments > Schedule A New Appointment > Non-Advising Appointments > Virtual Interview Suites
      • Complete the required fields, including the survey about your technology needs.
      • Submit the request.
      • Requests must be made a minimum of 2 business days prior to the interview.
      • Interviews must be conducted within the hours of 8:30AM and end by 4:45PM CT, Monday – Friday. Your interview must conclude by 5:00PM.
      • Requests for an interview room are based on a first-come, first-served basis. Employer requests will be given first priority.
      • You MUST receive a confirmation from the UNT Career Center. The room is NOT reserved until you receive a confirmation.