Get in Touch With Us: 352-392-1601 | UFCareerCenter@ufsa.ufl.edu

Get in Touch With Us: 352-392-1601 | UFCareerCenter@ufsa.ufl.edu

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Interview Prep

Preparing and Getting through the Interview

Interviews provide the opportunity to communicate your skills and experience to employers as you learn about the position and organization you’re applying to. There may be several qualified candidates, but you should be able to explain what makes you unique and why your UF experience qualifies you for their organization. Interviews are also an opportunity to gauge whether an organization is a good fit for you.

Need Help Practicing?

  • We can help you practice with a mock interview during an Express Drop-In, Monday – Friday between 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. with our expert Career Ambassadors.
  • Make a Career Planning appointment with a Career Connections Center staff member for a mock interview or to discuss interviewing strategies.
  • Log into Gator CareerLink and use the Mock Interview module to practice industry-specific mock interviews using your webcam.

On-Campus Interview Policies
We connect you to employers who host interviews on campus through the Career Connections Center. It’s important to know your responsibilities when you agree to an on-campus interview. Please review the interview policies to be knowledgeable and aware of standards and expectations for UF students.

Interviewing Prep Digital Guide:

The best way to feel more comfortable during an interview is through intentional practice. One of the main goals of an interview is for the employer to get to know you. You should show up to the interview prepared to confidently discuss your:

  • Interest in the Field
  • Academic Career
  • Relevant Work Experience
  • Transferable Skills
  • Technical and Language skills
  • Interest in Position/Organization
  • Certifications and Trainings
  • Campus Involvement
  • Leadership
  • Awards and Achievements
  • Professional Goals
  • Volunteer Work

Depending on what you are interviewing for, you might need to prepare for a specific type of interview process (i.e. technical interview, case-study interview, multiple-mini interview [MMI]). For more in-depth resources for these types of interviews visit our Career Communities pages.

For most interviews, you will be asked situational and behavioral questions. These questions give the employer insight into how you will perform in the future, based on past decisions and experiences.

The S.T.A.R. Method will help you thoroughly answer these questions. The S.T.A.R. Method is a technique for answering questions that structures your answers in a way that gives the interviewer all of the relevant information about a specific qualification for a job.

  • Situation– Tell the interviewer about a specific challenge or situation. Give your audience context and enough detail to understand the story.
  • Task- What were you trying to achieve? What was the assignment? Tell the interviewer what you were trying to get accomplished in this situation
  • Action- What did you do? If there was a problem or challenge, how did you handle it? Tell your interviewer what you did and why.
  • Results/Reflection- What was the outcome of this situation? Did you meet your objective? Don’t forget to tell your interviewer what you learned from this experience, and how have you applied that knowledge since.

Need Help Practicing?

  • We can help you practice with a mock interview during an Express Drop-In, Monday – Friday between 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. with our expert Career Ambassadors.
  • Make a Career Planning Appointment with a Career Connections Center staff member for a mock interview or to discuss interviewing strategies.
  • Log into Gator CareerLink and use the Mock Interview module to practice industry-specific mock interviews using your webcam.
  • When entering an interview room, shake hands, make eye contact, and introduce yourself to every individual in the room.
  • Always greet interviewers with a firm handshake.
  • Use titles such as Ms., Mr., Dr., etc. unless prompted to do otherwise.
  • Speak clearly and deliberately at a conversational speed.
  • Be sure to demonstrate enthusiasm, confidence, and genuineness in your tone.
  • Maintain eye contact with interviewers.
  • Sit up straight in your chair. Don’t lean too far forward or too far back.
  • Be confident, friendly, and sincere.
  • Turn off your cell phone completely.
  • Arrive approximately 10-15 minutes early.
  • Bring a few copies of your resume on resume paper to provide to interviewers.
  • Dress polished and professional for your field.
  • When exiting the room, shake hands, make eye contact, and thank each of your interviewers.
Asking the interviewer questions is an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and enthusiasm in the organization. Interviewers appreciate and expect questions. Also, think about what you wish you knew in past positions. Here are some tips regarding questions for the interviewer:

  • Ask open-ended and intentional questions to determine if a job is a good fit for you.
  • Ask questions that help you align your values with the organization’s values.
  • Review the website to generate ideas, but do not ask questions explicitly answered on the website.
Follow-up with a thank you email or card within 24 hours of an interview. After an interview, you may not hear right away as to whether or not you’ve been hired. You can email either the HR Representative or Hiring Manager a week after an interview to see if they have any additional questions or need further information. After that, only initiate contact via email or phone once a week. The hiring process can be lengthy, so be patient.

If you are given an employment offer, ask the employer how much time you have to respond to the offer if you have not already been told. Be sure to respond within that time frame. If you need an extension in response time, politely ask the employer. Be sure to give a good reason as to why you need an extension. The employer is not obligated to give you an extension so be sure to be professional and polite when making any requests with the employer.

For more information about interview strategies, download our detailed document.

Salary negotiation can be an intimidating process. It is important to approach the conversation armed with information and confidence and to have realistic expectations based on the industry you are interested in. Resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook will show you the average salary for people in your field. Keep in mind that the Occupational Outlook Handbook will show average salaries for your entire field- not necessarily the average for a new professional.

Additionally, using a salary calculator, like the examples below, calculates the salaries of other individuals with similar levels of education and experience.

Job Seekers Salary Calculator
Payscale

It is important to note that in the interview process, you should avoid bringing up the topic of salary on your own. An employer may ask you questions about your salary requirements during the interview process, however, you should not initiate these conversations as the job seeker until after you receive an offer. During the interview process, it is important to be prepared for conversations surrounding salary, but wait until after you receive an offer to ask extensive questions or negotiate.

For more information on the salary negotiation process and examples, download our Salary Negotiation document.