Prepare for an Interview

Video Interviews

Video interviews are the new norm for all rounds of interviewing at most companies. A video interview might be a recorded interview that you take on your own time (often called a HireVue) or it might be a live video interview with an interviewer on a platform like Zoom. Because video interviews are so incredibly common, it is important to practice getting used to the format.

  • Reserve an interview room in the CMC.
  • Have great lighting. If the room is dark, sit facing a window or add a lamp facing you.
  • Have a distraction-free background. Either have a blank wall behind you or download one of the Freeman templates. Even if you turn the blur on for your background, it can still be too busy and distracting.
  • Have your computer fully charged and plugged in to power.
  • Test your audio and video before the interview.
  • If you are interviewing in your dorm or apartment, make sure your roommates know not to enter the room.
  • Look directly into the camera. Interviewers can tell when you are just reading notes.
  • Have pen & paper in front of you so you can quickly jot anything down without needing to type.
  • If it is a live video interview, sign on about 5-10 minutes early.
  • Use headphones so that you can hear the interviewer better and so you don’t hear any outside distracting noise.
  • Thank your interviewers!

In-Person Interviews

Sometimes you will get the opportunity to interview in person at a company’s office. This is a great opportunity to explore your potential future workplace, meet multiple team members, and showcase more of your personality than an interviewer might get from just meeting you on a screen.

  • Confirm with the company all of the logistics ahead of time – Do you need to bring any identification? What is the parking situation? How do you get into the building? Is there a contact you are supposed to ask for when you get there? If they paid for your travel, do you have all of the information you need on how to book or do you know how to get reimbursed after?
  • Bring printed copies of your resume and cover letter, a plain notepad or notebook, a pen,
  • Arrive to the location 30 minutes early.
  • Stand up to greet your interviewers, shake their hands, remember their names.
  • Thank your interviewers!

Interview FAQs

  • What if I get asked a technical question that I don’t know the answer to? –> Try not to say “I don’t know.” If you have at least heard the concept or have an idea of what the interviewer might be asking you, be honest and start there. Interviewers are evaluating how you respond and how you think. If you are completely blank, ask for clarification and if you are still unsure then research the answer after the interview and include the answer in your thank you note. (Think about it like this – if you get asked a question during your internship and you don’t know the answer, do you think you should go figure it out and come back or just say that you don’t know?)
  • How do I start preparing for a case interview? –> Set up an appointment with a career consultant to talk about resources, and see if we have any upcoming case interview prep workshops in Handshake, and then there are a ton of free cases online that you can use to start getting familiar with the format.
  • What types of behavioral questions can I expect –> We always recommend having a STAR format story to demonstrate common competencies like leadership, teamwork, overcoming a challenge, communication, etc. But you can often get a good idea for what questions a company might ask you by looking at their values on their website and by what is being asked of you in the job description. Ex: If the company website says they value creative people, prepare a story about a time you were creative.

Additional Resources