Interviewing

Interviews are used by employers to evaluate potential candidates for co-op, internship, or entry-level full-time positions. Early in the candidate selection process, employers choose those candidates they feel are the best qualified from a larger pool of applicants, and invite the selected candidates to interview. First-round interviews may be by phone or Skype; second-round or later interviews are usually in person.

There are many different types of interviews, from the traditional format (in which the interviewer asks questions and you answer them) to group or panel interviews with many interviewers or candidates. In addition to asking questions about your background and qualifications, interviewers may also ask theoretical questions about situations in the workplace (e.g., "What would you do if…") or may ask you to perform specific technical tasks.

During the course of the interview, the interviewer will assess your level of preparation, personality (level of confidence, poise, friendliness, etc.), career goals, communication skills, and level of experience to see how well you might fit in with the culture of the company. At the same time, you should be assessing the interviewer as a representative of the company where you think you want to work and deciding whether or not you think the company would be a good fit for you.

Once all of the selected candidates have been interviewed, the employer contacts the top-choice candidate to make an offer.

Although you can't anticipate how each specific interview will play out, you can be as prepared as possible in advance by: