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The single most important strategy in interviewing, as in all phases of your job search, is to find out as much as you can about what your audience wants, and then show them how YOU can help them get it.
In other words, you must match your abilities with the needs of the employer. You must sell what you have that the buyer is buying.
You can find some of these answers by:
  1. Studying the job description and the company itself via: (1)  the library company databases such as Business Source Premier, Hoovers, IBIS World, and PrivCo; (2) LinkedIn, (3) the company website
  2. Talking with someone you may know who works (or has worked) for this company

Guidelines for Professional Dress

Specific Guidelines & Resources

Guidelines for Successful Interviews

Online Practice Interview Resource

  • Click here to participate in online practice interview with Optimal Resume

Sample Interview Questions

Be prepared to answer and give examples for behavior-based interview questions such as the ones listed below.
Tell me about a time when you:
  • Worked effectively under pressure.
  • Handled a difficult situation/conflict with a co-worker/supervisor.
  • Were creative in solving a problem.
  • Missed an obvious solution to a problem.
  • Were unable to complete a project on time.
  • Persuaded team members to do things your way.
  • Wrote a report that was well received.
  • Anticipated potential problems and developed preventative measures.
  • Had to make an important decision with limited facts.
  • Were forced to make an unpopular decision.
  • Had to adapt to a difficult situation.
  • Were tolerant of an opinion that was different than yours.
  • Were disappointed in your behavior.
  • Used you political savvy to push a program through that you really believed in.
  • Had to deal with an irate customer.
  • Delegated a project effectively.
  • Surmounted a major obstacle.
  • Set your sights too high (or too low).
  • Prioritized the elements of a complicated project.
  • Got bogged down in the details of a project.
  • Lost (or won) an important contract.
  • Made a bad decision.
  • Hired (or fired) the wrong person.
  • Turned down a good job.

Thank You Letters

Send a thank-you letter within 24 hours of your meeting. This is a vital part of the interview process and one too often ignored by job seekers. Depending on the company culture, send either an email or a hand-written note, as long as you have clear handwriting. Thank-you notes should not be overly long; on an email letter the recipient should not have to scroll down to view the entire letter. Always focus on what YOU CAN DO FOR THEM.

A separate thank-you note should be sent to each person with whom you interviewed at the company. Each note should be personalized to the person with whom you met at the company. In the note thank them for interviewing you and specify the particular position you interviewed for (often, recruiters are interviewing for many positions at once).

Reference something specific about your conversation with the individual, which will cause the interviewer to recall your discussion and keep you in active consideration. If possible, highlight one of the accomplishments you discussed during the interview, or introduce a new one that builds on your interview discussion. This also helps to build rapport and your relationship with this individual.

Remember that the thank-you note is often a sales letter in disguise. If you left out pertinent information during the interview, be sure to include it in the thank-you note. It gives you the opportunity to emphasize the match between your background and the employer’s interests.

Be sure to follow up by phone according to the time frame you indicated in your interview or in your thank-you letter. The follow-up often determines who gets the job.

The sample letter below should only be used as an example. Be sure to personalize and create a unique letter after every interview.

December 2, 2007
Mr. John Smith
Vice President of Corporate Marketing
XYZ Software Inc.
285 Appletree Way
Boston, MA 02215

Dear Mr. Smith:

Thank you for taking your time yesterday to discuss the position of Marketing Manager at XYZ Software. I enjoyed our conversation, especially our discussion on using web-based software for teaching adult learners in university continuing education programs. During our meeting, we discussed the possibility of targeting several vertical markets as a further means of enhancing XYZ Software’s competitive positioning. I agree with your recommendation and am eager to explore several industries in which I have significant experience. At eLearning Magazine, we focused our marketing programs on three key industries: High Technology, Financial Services and Government. At ABC Software where I led generation programs, our greatest success was achieved by targeting the top 500 firms in the Health Care and Technology Sectors.

I am eager to collaborate with the team at XYZ Software and am confident that my previous experience and skills in marketing programs will be an asset to your organization. I will follow-up with you on [name specific day]; in the meantime, if you have any additional questions, you may contact me at XXX-XXX-XXXX or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you again for your time. I look forward to meeting with you again in the near future.




Susan Holmes