You just booked an interview! Congratulations! Now what?

Resources for interviewing

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Tips for Online Interviews

Here are some of our best tips for confidently rocking your online job interviews!

  • Show up to your online interview as you would in person. We recommend dressing as you would for an in person interview. This means anticipating what your industry expects when it comes to dress code.
  • Eliminate distractions if and when possible. We can’t always control our home environment! Pets, family members and other things might interfere. Try your best to let others know you need the time and space. If unterruptions happen, it’s okay! You can acknowledge it and keep the interview going by bringing your attention back to the interviewer.
  • Test things out beforehand! Here are some suggestions:
    • The lighting in the room. A darker room will make it more difficult to see you.
    • Your device (computer or phone) and it’s internet connection. You can check to see if your device plans on making any software updates the day of your interview and schedule them for later or do it ahead of time.
    • Get familiar with the online platform the interview will take place on. Although Zoom is common, not every employer will use it. Try to log on to the interviewing platform beforehand if possible. This will help you feel more comfortable when the interview begins.
    • Have a plan if internet disruptions occur. Remember that it’s okay, as this is not always in your control. You can have a plan for if it happens so you don’t panic and freeze on how to fix it in the moment. One option could be to make sure you have the interviewer’s direct phone number to connect with if video becomes inaccessible.
  • Keep your eye contact with the camera versus the computer screen when you are responding to the interviewer’s questions. This will make a virtual interview feel more like an in person experience.
  • Be sure to double check the time zone of the interview time scheduled. Is it local or not?
  • If you have access to headphones, it might be a good idea to use them. This helps with minimizing unexpected external noise like echos.
  • Practice your interview skills by using InterviewStream. It never hurts to brush up on your skills! InterviewStream is a helpful free online tool to help you practice.
  • It’s okay to use a notepad to have notes next to you or take notes during the interview. Be sure to let the interviewer know you’ll be taking notes because they might not actually be able to see what you're doing!
  • Remember that you can always book an appointment with a CEHD Career Coach if you would like help with preparing for an interview!

Know the employer

One of the biggest mistakes interviewers make is failing to research the employer. Comprehensive research on the employer is an essential step in preparing for an interview.

Know the position

Interview questions are many times developed around the skills and qualities listed in the job posting. By knowing the position you can anticipate potential interview questions.

  • Carefully review the job description and create a list of skills and qualities required.
  • Anticipate questions the interviewer may ask given the list of skills and qualities you created.
  • Talk to professionals in similar types of positions in different organizations.

Develop your interview strategy

  • Create a list of your “rock star moments” – the times you did outstanding work in a paid, volunteer, or involvement experience. Be prepared to talk about the qualities and skills you showed during these moments.
  • Identify your top 3-5 skills and qualities for the position and consider how you will communicate these skills and qualities in the interview.
  • What are your transferable skills and how can you use them for this position?
  • What content (your field of study) knowledge do you have that relates to this position? Think about what you have learned from your coursework, internships, paid or volunteer experiences and use jargon and language associated with your field of study.
  • What makes you different or unique compared to other candidates with similar experiences?
  • Be prepared to clearly communicate why this specific position with this specific organization is a good fit for your career goals. Employers want to know why you are interested in working for their organization.

Prepare questions for the interviewer

  • Have at least 2-3 questions prepared. Avoid simple yes/no questions.
  • Demonstrate interest in the position you are interviewing for by asking questions.
  • Ask questions you really care about, demonstrate your knowledge, and show interest in the company/organization.
  • Don’t ask a question if it has already been answered – consider asking the interviewer(s) to elaborate.


  • Prepare answers to interview questions focusing on your “rock star moments”, skills, and qualities.
  • Rehearse and practice potential interview questions out loud
  • Schedule a practice interview with a career coach
  • Do an online practice interview with InterviewStream  

During the interview

First impression

First impressions are very important during an interview. Consider the following to ensure you make a great first impression.

  • Arrive 10 minutes early, never arrive late.
  • Do a test run to the interview location prior to the actual interview.
  • Be kind and considerate to all staff you interact with including administrative assistants and receptionists.
  • Greet the interviewer with enthusiasm using appropriate eye contact and smile.
  • Show confidence by standing and shaking the interviewer’s hand. Use a medium to firm handshake.
  • Introduce yourself using both your first and last name.

Be aware of how you present yourself

It is not only the content of your answers to interview questions, but how you present yourself during the interview that are critical.

  • Dress appropriately for the interview.
  • Be mindful of nonverbal communication and body language.
  • Avoid “ums” and “like”.
  • Don’t fidget with your hair, accessories, or pen.
  • Speak slowly and clearly. We speak more quickly when nervous.
  • Don’t ramble or tell your interviewer more than they need to know. Focus on answering the specific question.

Concluding the interview

Have a prepared closing statement that reiterates your skills and qualifications along with your interest in the position for the end of the interview.

  • Thank the interviewer(s) for their time.
  • Ask for next steps and timeline for the hiring process.
  • Ask for the business cards of all interviewers.


Following-up after an interview is an excellent way to show you are on top of things and really interested in the position.

  • Send a thank you letter to everyone who interviewed you within 48 hours of the interview.
  • Respect the hiring timeline outlined during the interview. Don’t call too early or too often.
  • Call the employer in the appropriate timeframe to inquire about the status of the hiring process.