Job Interview Prep and Resources

The most crucial part of the job search process is the formal interview. The secret of good interviewing is preparation and skilled communication. You do not get a second chance in an interview. From the moment you greet the interviewer until your departure, the impressions you create are irreversible. Making a formal, personal presentation of your knowledge, skills, and abilities requires research and practice.

Big Interview

An online system that combines training and practice to help improve your interview technique and build your confidence - all from your personal computer.


Big Interview

Mock Interview Program

USA Career Development can assist you with preparing for your interview. You can schedule a mock interview in Navigate South and can contact our staff at (251) 460-6188 with any questions you may have.


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Career Development Toolkit

Don't just show up for career fairs! Prepare before you go and get the most out of the opportunities.


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Guide to Interviewing

Interview Questions (Be prepared to answer)

  1. What are your long-range career goals, when and why did you establish these goals, and how are you preparing to achieve them?
  2. What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?
  3. What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  4. How would you describe yourself?
  5. How would a colleague describe you?
  6. How has your college experience prepared you for a career?
  7. Why should I hire you?
  8. What qualifications do you have that make you think you will be successful?
    In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our organization?
  9. Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and subordinates.
  10. What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction?
  11. What led you to choose your major field of study?
  12. What have you learned from participation in extra-curricular activities?
  13. In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
  14. Describe your part-time or summer jobs and explain what you learned from them.
  15. How would you describe the ideal job for you following graduation?
  16. What do you know about our organization?
  17. What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
  18. What criteria are you using to evaluate prospective employers?
  19. Do you have a geographical preference? and Why?
  20. Will you relocate?
  21. Describe a major problem you encountered and how you dealt with it.

Questions you may want to ask

  1. Identify typical career paths based on past records.
  2. Please explain the evaluation and promotion process.
  3. What is the retention rate of people in the position for which I am interviewing?
  4. Describe the typical first year assignments.
  5. Tell me about your initial and future training programs.
  6. What are the challenging facets of the job?
  7. What are the organization’s plans for the future?
  8. What industry trends will occur in the company?
  9. What makes your firm different from its competitors?
  10. What are the organization’s strengths and weaknesses?
  11. How would you describe your organization’s personality and management style?
  12. What are your expectations for new hires?
  13. Describe the position in the overall structure of the department.
  14. What characteristics does a successful person have at your organization?

Clock iconIn a survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers, 3% claimed to know whether or not they would hire someone within 90 seconds.

Statistics Show That First Impressions are Determined By:

  • 55% The way you dress, act, and walk through the door
  • 38% The quality of your voice, grammar, and confidence
  • 7% The words you choose to say

Things That Have an Impact on First Impressions

  • 70% of employers claim they don't want applicants to be overly fashionable or trendy
  • 65% of hiring managers say clothes can be  the deciding factor between two similar candidates

Common Nonverbal Mistakes Made During Job Interviews

  • 67% Fail to make eye contact
  • 47% Have little knowledge of the company
  • 38% Don't smile
  • 33% Have bad posture
  • 33% Fidget too much
  • 26% Have a weak handshake
  • 21% Play with their hair or touch their face
  • 21% Cross their arms over their chest
  • 9% Use too many hand gestures

X in a circleTop 10 Most Common Interview Mistakes

    1. Over-explaining why you lost your last job
    2. Conveying that you're not over losing your last job
    3. Lacking humor, warmth or personality
    4. Not showing enough interest or enthusiasm
    5. Inadequate research about a potential employer
    6. Concentrating too much on what you want
    7. Trying to be all things to all people
    8. "Winging" the interview
    9. Failing to set yourself apart from other candidates
    10. Failing to ask for the job

Question mark4 Questions Most Likely to be Asked

    1. What was your experience like at...?
    2. Why do you want to work for us?
    3. What do you know about our company?
    4. Why did you leave your previous job?

Check mark4 Most Important Interview Tips

    1. Learn about the organization
    2. Have a specific position in mind that you'd like to fill
    3. Review your qualifications for the job
    4. Be ready to briefly describe related experience

Before the Interview

  • Assess Yourself
    Know your strengths and weaknesses before you walk in the door. Never expect an employer to tell you where you might fit in an organization; you should already know. Hint: Dwell on strengths. Downplay weaknesses. You might cite your weakness as perfectionism, and have it perceived as a strength.
  • Read Employer Literature
    You should have some knowledge of company policies, employment opportunities, products and services. Look for a chance in the interview to communicate what you know.
  • Verify the Particulars
    Find out the exact time and place of the interview. Arrive at least five minutes early. There is no excuse for being late -- ever! Learn the interviewer’s name, correct pronunciation, and his or her title.

During the Interview

  • Sell Yourself
    Illustrate your personal qualities and strongest abilities with examples from your past. Do not just answer the question. Try to address any underlying questions you think the employer might have about your suitability for the job.
  • Be Positive
    You will create a better impression by being honest and candid. If the recruiter asks about shortcomings, explain circumstances rather than giving excuses or blaming.
  • Non-verbal Communication
    Sitting up straight will make you appear poised and confident throughout the interview. What you wear communicates a message. Think conservative. Nervous hands and feet are distracting.
  • Ask Meaningful Questions
    What are the responsibilities of the job? Is training provided? Is advancement possible? Does the job involve travel? What individuals will I work with most? How is job performance measured?

After the Interview

  • Follow – Up
    Provide credentials, references, or transcripts requested by the prospective employer as soon as possible. Be sure to write down the name, title, and address of the recruiter. You must send a brief typed letter of appreciation for the interview opportunity.


  • Suit or tailored dress in navy or dark gray; no extreme slits
  • Polished, closed-toe shoes, basic pumps with medium or low heels, no scuffs
  • Nails subtle, clean and medium to short
  • Makeup should be minimal
  • Avoid lace and low-cut blouses
  • Choose between a briefcase or handbag
  • Simple and basic jewelry, one ring
  • Always wear hosiery and match to shoes and skirt for continuity
  • No Perfume
  • High-quality pen


  • Navy, dark gray, or pinstripe suit
  • Polished shoes with leather soles, no scuffed heels
  • Black or navy knee-high socks
  • Clean nails
  • Fresh haircut
  • Conservative tie
  • Solid white shirt
  • Avoid flashy cuff links, rings or neck chains, no earrings
  • One ring
  • No cologne
  • Briefcase or portfolio and high-quality pen


Video on Interviewing

Best Practices and Interview Preparation