Chicago State University

Interview Preparation 

Interviewing is the stage of the career search process where employers recognize all of your attributes and want to understand what kind of person you are and how you interact with people. Taking time to prepare yourself before the interview will give you the confidence to successfully represent your skills and individuality.

Some tips to assist you in preparing four interview are listed below.

Company and Position Research

Why is this important?

Researching the company you are about to interview with is important because it gives you, as a potential candidate, insight into the company’s values, the service(s) it provides and its target audience.

  1. Skills and experience the company values

    Read through the job description and list of requirements for the position you applied for, so that you understand what the company is looking for in someone to be able to perform this role.  Also, knowing the salary ranges of the position may be useful if you receive an offer.
  2. News, recent events and history about the company.

    Showing that you are up-to-date with company news shows the employer that you have genuine interest in the company and the services it provides.
  3. Company’s culture, mission and values.

    You want to know these things to be able to align your goals with the goals of the company to reassure them that you are the best candidate for the position.
  4. Clients, products and services.

    This is directly related to the type of work you’d be doing, so having an idea of these three things will better prepare you for the interview.
  5. The title and name of the person who you will be interviewing with.

    Doing a little research on the person you are interviewing with may give you a chance to connect with the interviewer on a personal level.

Sample Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your strengths?
  3. What are your weaknesses?
  4. How do you handle pressure?
  5. What do you know about our company?
  6. Why are you interested in our company?
  7. Why do you want this job?
  8. What are your short-term goals?
  9. Why should I hire you?
  10. Do you have any questions for me?

Sample Behavioral Questions

  1. Tell me about a time when you had to overcome adversity.
  2. Tell me about a long-term goal and how you achieved it.
  3. Tell me about a situation where you gave your all and you were not successful. Why not? What happened?
  4. Describe a stressful situation at work and how you handled it.
  5. What do you do if there is down time during work?
  6. Tell me about your proudest accomplishment.

Sample Applicant Questions

  1. Remember that this is your time to interview the employer to figure out if you feel that you would be a good fit for the company.
  2. Do not ask about company demographics, salary, benefits, vacations or other company perks. This will be discussed later in the interview process or once you receive an offer.
  3. List of 5-7 Common Applicant Questions
  4. Describe the culture of the company?
  5. What are the opportunities for advancement?
  6. What do you like most about working here?
  7. What are the next steps in the interview process?

Interview Attire


  • A traditional, conservative suit; navy, gray, or black.
  • A white or blue long sleeved shirt with a conservative tie.
  • Professional and clean dress shoes with black socks.
  • Neat and professional hairstyle, clean-shaven (or trimmed) facial hair.
  • A watch and one ring.
  • No earrings.
  • No cologne or after-shave.
  • Trimmed and clean nails.


  • A well-coordinated suit; navy, gray, black or any other non-loud color
  • A long sleeved blouse in a complimentary color
  • Neutral or flesh-tone hosiery
  • Moderate matching shoes with a medium heel
  • Subdued, natural make-up and no perfume
  • Neat and professional hairstyle
  • Sparse jewelry
  • Manicured nails with light or clear nail polish