Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Get Ready for Your Interview

Preparing Stories and Your Interview Setting

Before the Interview

Research as much as you can

  • Learn what matters most to them using their website, news, social media or blog

  • Learn about the employer's products and services

  • Learn about the team you are applying to and explain it in your own words

  • Practice explaining the job in your own words - make sure you research any parts of the job description that you don't understand

  • Ask a classmate about a recent technical interview experience

  • Continue networking with employees -- you can use LinkedIn's alumni insights

  • Read the interview pages (pg 18-21) in our Career Handbook

  • Create your list of questions for them incorporating what you've learned


Anticipate questions

  • Create a list of employer/job specific questions you expect from them, and organize your response in bullets

  • Practice answering the "tell me about yourself" and "why work here" questions

  • Prepare by using the behavioral practice questions in the Career Handbook or Big Interview

  • Brush up on CS 187 (data structures) knowledge and practice following the step-by-step approach from the Programming Interviews Exposed book

  • Read the Technical Interviewing info sheet and consider getting the Crack The Coding Interview book to begin practicing

  • Check out some of the resources on the Tech Interview info sheet including LeetCode

  • Practice tech interviewing with a classmate

  • Prepare 3-4 of your favorite professional stories to respond to a variety of open-ended questions

  • Make a list of keywords that you might want to incorporate into your responses (e.g., small teams)


Prepare for your interview

  • (In-Person) Print out several copies of your resume for yourself and to share with any interviewers who request it

  • Watch or listen to something before the phone interview to get your happy and relaxed

  • (In-Person) Print the full job description to reference during the interview

  • Prepare your anticipated questions and answers for them


Virtual Interviews

Set the scene

  • If you will be on camera, test your camera and microphone

  • Check lighting is bright: face towards a window with sunlight for best results

  • Check sound is clear: find a quiet, disruption-free place

  • Check video background: remove any distractions or items you may not want shown to your interviewer

  • If on camera, position your camera so it is level with your eyes


Preventing technical difficulties

  • Make sure your internet connection is stable

  • Test your computer's camera and microphone

  • Make sure the interviewing website or application has camera and microphone access

  • If using an interviewing website, make sure your web browser has camera and microphone access

  • Check your interviewing site's minimum browser requirements


During the Interview

Round 1

  • For phone screens and video calls, be sure you are in a quiet setting where you will not be disrupted or have technical issues

  • Use the STAR method to structure your responses to behavioral interview questions

  • Ask about next steps at the end so you are clear on when and how you can follow up


Round 2

  • For final rounds of interview which are typically in-person, give yourself plenty of time to deal with the unexpected

  • Just be kind -- if you get nervous remember that being friendly and kind can make up small "mistakes"

  • Ask about next steps at the end so you are clear on when and how you can follow up


Dress code

  • Ask around for advice on what to wear and aim to be slightly more dressed up than the typical employee

  • Traditional interview dress includes: ironed (ideally tailored) suit with button down shirt, nice dress shoes

  • Also consider: Ties with classic patterns and colors, plain simple jewelry, neutral nail polish

  • Feel free to show your own personality and style


After the Interview

Say thank you!

  • Be sure to send a thank you note afterwards -- try to get the interviewers email or use LinkedIn, and reference your notes from the interview to provide memorable details

  • Ask CICS Careers to review your thank you note draft before sending to the employer to get it just right


Learn for next time

  • Take notes about what you learned and where you can improve for future interviews



  • Reward yourself! Interviews can be mentally and emotionally exhausting so do something you enjoy to celebrate making it to the final round of the selection process