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Interview Tips

While a resume can get your "foot in the door," the interview is the most important element in the job search process. Through interviews, you and the employer have a chance to exchange information and participate in a discussion to determine whether you are a good fit for their organization and whether the organization is a good fit for you.

Interview Preparation


Create and Rehearse your Elevator Pitch

Create a concise, memorable summary a.k.a., your elevator pitch, for introducing yourself. Highlight your most relevant experience, accomplishments, abilities and future goals that relate to the position. You can use this introduction in response to the prompt "Tell me about yourself."


Select your Interview Attire

Make a good first impression!

If you are in need of interview attire, visit the Cardinal Closet in Wickes Hall across from the Career Services office.


Schedule a Mock Interview

The best way to prepare for an interview isto acutally do it! Schedule a mock interview today!


Prepare Questions for the Interviewers

Interviewers expect you to ask questions. Asking questions helps show genuine interest in the position and organization.

Common Interview Questions & How to Answer Them

STAR Method

The STAR method is a technique to learn and use for interviewing when you answer behavioral questions about previous experiences. By utilizing this method, you are ensuring that your answers are clear, thorough and complete.


Briefly describe the background of your example and include your role.


Share the details of the problem or responsibility you were charged with in the situation


Describe the various courses of action you could have taken and why you chose a certain action. Detail what you did in this action


Describe the outcome and/or resolution of the situation. If positive, what was successful? If negative, what could you have done differently?

You will likely be asked this question, so use it to your advantage. Stay clear of personal information. Answer using the most recent and relevant information. Having a concise summary of yourself, in the form of a 30 second "elevator pitch" is the best way to answer this question.

Circle with Check mark Do Include:

Red X in circleDon't Include:

  • The Basics: your name, SVSU major/minor, and year in school
  • experience: work experience, volunteer work, projects related to the position of interest
  • Distinctions: your top, relevant accomplishments, strengths and skill sets
  • The Future: your educational and career goals as they relate to the position
  • Your age, martial status, ethnicity and other potentially discriminatory information
  • Details about your family, friends, co-workers, etc. Keep the focus on you!
  • All of your work experience - stick to what is most relevant for your listener
  • Hobbies, unless you are able to make a clear connection between them and the position

Example: "My name is Coop Cardinal, and I am currently a sophomore studying Accounting at Sagainw Valley State University. For the past two years, I have been a student employee in the Career Services office, assisting with on campus student employment and ensuring departments are properly tracking their budgets for student workers. I also recently completed a presentation with the Finance Club where we won first place. I welcome the opportunity to go further with Rehmann and enhance my accounting and auditing skills through this internship."



This type of question digs for information from you regarding a specific scenario and is commonly know as behavioral interviewing. The employer might ask about a time when you had to work with a difficult customer and how you handled the situation. Remember the STAR method, as its very valuable to counter these types of questions.

Situational questions are very common. The employer may want to see how you will react by presenting a hypothetical scenario. Answer thoroughly and try to incorporate examples of similar situations you may have encountered from previous experiences by using the STAR Method.

Never leave a job interview answering this question with "no." By asking an employer a question or two, you will exhibit interest in the employer and the position. Preparing these questions in advance is easy. Also, pay attention to the questions they ask you during the interview. Ask the interviewer questions that show that you learned new information about their company or organization:

  • What would a typical day be like?
  • Can you tell me how success in this position is measured?
  • Who would I work with most closely on a daily basis?
  • What do you consider the most challenging aspect of this position for someone who is new to your organization?
  • What are your major projects in the coming year?

Be sure to research the employer prior to the interview to avoid asking questions that are already on their website.


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