Prepare for an Interview
boston college career center
You’ve landed an interview for a job or an internship. Congratulations! Now it’s time to do your research, hone your interviewing skills, and compile a list of questions to ask. Here are a few pointers as you prepare for interviews.
Do your research
Learn about the industry you’re targeting: What are the trends, and what skills are required? Prepare informed questions and provide thoughtful answers by learning about the company that’s interviewing you. What are its products or services? What are its challenges and opportunities? Here are some resources to help you research companies and industries:
- Follow companies on LinkedIn and Twitter
- Hoover's Online
- Vault Guides
- SEC Filings
- Lexis/Nexis (accessible from on-campus computers)
- Factiva (accessible from on-campus computers)
- PR Newswire
Attend an interview workshop
Boston College’s Career Center offers interview workshops throughout the academic year. Visit EagleLink to check the workshop schedule and to register.
Create a list of your successes
Recruiters often ask candidates to talk about a past experience based on specific criteria. (For example,”Tell me about a time when you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker.”) Prepare for interviews by creating a list of your accomplishments—whether on the job, in an internship, or during extracurricular activities. Note how each situation reinforces the skills and qualities you want to convey to an employer.
Prepare for questions
First, determine the type of interview this will be to help you predict the kind of questions you’ll get asked. Next, use our list of common interview questions to help you identify a list of questions the recruiter will likely ask. Then, use your list of successes to prepare strong answers to those questions. Practicing your answers out loud is a great way to shape your responses.
Practice your skills
Start with InterviewStream, an online system in which you answer questions posed by a virtual interviewer. You can also schedule a one-on-one session with a peer advisor to conduct a practice interview or with a career counselor to review your InterviewStream practice interview.
Generate a list of questions to ask
Asking intelligent, informed questions during an interview demonstrates your interest in the job and helps you decide if the position is right for you.
Gather a list of references
Create a one-page list of three to five references.
Your attire should be neat, professional, and appropriate for your intended field.
For more information, browse the Career Resource Library for interview books including Knock 'Em Dead: The Ultimate Job Seeker's Handbook and Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed.