Develop your interviewing skills


Interviewing can seem like an overwhelming process, especially when you're preparing for your first interview. Our team is here to help you understand the process from start to finish, develop your skills, and gain confidence. 

  • Types of Interviews

    We want to help you prepare for your next interview, no matter the style of interviewing questions or the location of the interview.

    Resumed-based interviews

    Many employers will include resume-based questions in an interview. With this style, interviewers may ask you to discuss in detail any experience from your resume. You may be asked to elaborate on a project, leadership position, or summer job in depth. Before an interview, be sure to revisit your resume and refresh yourself on details you may have forgotten.

    Behaviorial interviews

    No matter what type of position you apply to, you're likely to encouter at least one behavioral interview during your job search. Many employers believe that the best way to predict your future performance on the job is to learn more about your previous behavior and experiences.

    You'll be asked to tell a story about a situation in which you've demonstrated a particular skill, for example "Tell me about a time you worked effectively with a team". If you've exhibited strong teamwork skills through course projects, summer jobs, or involvement in committees and clubs, employers have confidence that you can bring those same skills to their organization. 

    We recommend using the popular STAR technique as a model for answering behavioral interviewing questions.

    Here are some typical behavioral interviewing questions to prepare for from TheMuse.com and here are more practice questions from the UVA HR department.

    Technical Interviews

    If you're interested in programming or software engineering, you'll likely experience one or more technical interviews with any given employer. Questions may range from your level of experience with certain technologies to writing code on a whiteboard to explain a technical concept or solve a puzzle. 

    1. A good place to start is to watch one in action:

    Google sample whiteboard interview question

    Sample Whiteboard interview question and solution

     

    2. Read sample questions and answers and practice!

    Leetcode.com - Great sample questions, discussion board and mock technical interview questions.

    Pramp.com - Get paired with a peer to practice together

    Example Technical Interview Questions

    Entry Level Software Developer Technical Interview Questions from Reddit

    Practice Technical Interview Questions by Skill

     

    3. Take a short online workshop

    How to Ace a Developer Interview from LinkedIn Learning

     

    4. Other helpful bits of advice

    5 Smart Moves to Make in a Technical Interview - Be sure to check out the slides at the bottom of the article.

    Personal Account of Facebook Developer Interview Process

     

    5. Books to read and study

    Cracking the Coding Interview (available to check out from the Center for Engineering Career Development)

     

    6. Attend Career Center events related to technical interivewing

    Technical Interviewing programs and events on Grounds

     

    Case Interviews
    Most consulting firms use case interviewing, in which candidates analyze a problem and propose a solution or recommendation.

    Every year our team invites employers and alumni to Grounds to conduct mock case interviews and case interviewing workshops, and you can find upcoming events in Handshake. You also have free access to the Vault Guide to Case Interviews through the Resources section of Handshake.

    Learn more about how to ace the case with these tips or consider reading a book that guides you through various sample cases, such as Case in Point, which you can borrow from our office. 

    SEE IT IN ACTION: Video of a case interview

    Capital One Case Interview sample

    Additional interviewing tips

    Ace your Video Interview

    5 Tips to Acing Your Phone Interview

    Guide to Acing Your Skype Interview

    How to Prepare for a Phone or Skype Interview

    Tips for various interview formats, such as On-Grounds Interviewing (OGI), on-site interviews, panel interviews, and group interviews

  • Interview Prep

    Prepare for your interview in three stages – know what to do before, on the day-of, and after the experience.

    BEFORE AN INTERVIEW

    Research
    Review the company's website, LinkedIn page, Glassdoor reviews and sample interview questions, and other web presence (e.g., press articles).

    Revisit & Reflect

    • Revisit the description of the job you’re interviewing for. Identify the technical and non-technical skills this employer wants in a candidate.
    • Reflect and find a story that demonstrates you possess it.
    • Review common interviewing questions below and think about how you would respond.

    Practice 
    Once you have some responses in mind, practice talking about your stories out loud, even just to yourself. Practicing our delivery boosts confidence and helps us develop clear, concise responses. TIP: Use the STAR technique to help structure your responses to behavioral and resume-based interview questions. You can also practice on your own with InterviewStream, a free tool available in the Resoures section of Handshake. Create custom interviews, get tips on improving your skills, and record and save your interviews.

    DAY-OF AN INTERVIEW

    From your appearance to how you communicate, make a positive impression with employers on the day of your interview. Navigate the day with tips 9-26 here and use these 7 tricks to help you sound confident (even if you're not). When you know what to expect, you'll make a positive impact throughout the process.

    AFTER AN INTERVIEW

    Knowing when to check in (and how often) after an interview can be confusing. Review these tips for recommendations on email etiquette and timing.

    After the Interview: follow-up and thank you notes

    4 non-annoying ways to follow up after an interview

    Do you need to accept or decline an offer? Ask for more time to make a decision? Review these tips and schedule an appointment in Handshake if you'd like to discuss your unique situation with an advisor.

  • Mock Interviews

    Gain interviewing experience before your first (or next) interview with an employer! Schedule a mock interview with one of our advisors, where you'll practice answering a variety of questions and we'll offer individualized feedback and coaching. Select our office and "Mock Interview" in the appointments section of Handshake

    You can also gain practice with alumni and employer volunteers throughout the year. You'll find both interview skill-building workshops and individual mock interviews in the Events section of Handshake. Just search by keyword "Interview". 

    And, no matter the time of day or night, you can practice on your own with InterviewStream, a free tool available in the Resoures section of Handshake. Create custom interviews, get tips on improving your skills, and record and save your interviews.

     

  • Common Questions

    While every interview is unique, there are a number of interview questions that are asked frequently asked. Even if you do not encounter these in each interview, we encourage you to anticipate them and be prepared.

    • Tell me about yourself.
    • What do you know about our company/this role? Why are you interested in us/this position?
    • Why/how did you choose UVA? Your major?
    • Share 3 strengths and 1 weakness.
    • What are your short and long term goals?
    • Why should we hire you?
    • What questions do you have for us?

     

    Be prepared to share examples of times you demonstrated initiative, teamwork, leadership, and problem solving skills. And, have an example of a time something didn't go according to plan, as many employers want to understand how you troubleshoot, bounce back, respond to constructive feedback, and tackle challenges.

    More Common Questions

    Behavioral Interview Questions by Skill

    Strategies for answering common questions

    How to answer 30+ common interview questions

    30 common questions based on skill set

    4 common questions with sample responses

    And, don't forget that an interview is a conversation. Almost all employers will ask if you have any questions for them at the end of the interview. Find your favorites from this list of 8 or this more extensive (50+) list, and bring them with you to the interview.