Part 2: Strategies for Success

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Connect academic knowledge with a professional setting. (LO2)
  • Recommend etiquette for professional interviews. (LO3)
  • Analyze how to achieve professional growth in industry. (LO5)

Preparing for an Interview

This section of the course and the textbook is meant to prepare you for potential interviews and identify workplace norms that you may or may not know already. To start, please view the following three TED talks that discuss strategies that can help you interview better for a position.


Question Preparation

Initially, it may seem overwhelming to prepare for an interview where you do not know the questions. But the reality is that many, if not all questions, asked in an interview are very similar regardless of industry. These questions are the ones you can prepare for and the ones where you can really market yourself as a valuable employee that the organization should hire.

In any interview, especially for very specialized positions, there may be industry-specific questions that you would need to answer. One trick for preparing yourself is to break down the job description, listed in the job advertisement.

  • Write or type all of the components out.
  • Then, start connecting each piece with your prior experiences; draw connections as often as possible.
  • Once you have parsed out the job description, you can start hypothesizing what questions they might ask and how you would answer.

For the basic, most common questions you would be asked, please review the dialog cards below and prepare answers that would be succinct and meaningful in an interview. There are suggestions for each of the questions on how to respond. To use the dialog cards provided, read the question, then select the “turn” button. Read the information relevant to that question. Then, select the right-pointing arrow, below the dialog cards to move on to the next card. There are seven questions and corresponding information.


Illegal Interview Questions

It is important to understand that even though you are interviewing for a position, there are questions that employers are not allowed to ask. The Fair Inquiry Guidelines were established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These guidelines were meant to protect those that are interviewing from discriminatory practices.  Please read more about legal and illegal interview questions in this article by the Bridgespan Group.

First Impressions

When an employer first sees your resume, cover letter, and references they have begun to form an impression of you. When they meet you in an interview, whether in person or virtually, you have the opportunity to provide the best first impression possible. In this section, first impressions will be discussed, including strategies for great initial connection with an employer. Select each of the hot spots below to learn more. Then decide whether you want to be this person or that person.



Types of Interviews:

Generally, there are three types of interviews that you could encounter in your job search process: face-to-face, phone, and virtual (examples: Zoom, Teams, Skype). Each of these types of interviews require different preparation and potentially different skills in order to be successful. If you have questions about how or where the interview will take place, ask the person who has contacted you regarding an interview. Some questions that may be relevant to ask are:

  • Are there specific instructions for finding your office or building?
  • Are there parking fees or a recommended place to park?
  • How many people will be present in the interview?
  • If I have other questions, prior to the interview, who is the best person to contact?

Read more about the qualities of the different types of interviews below, familiarizing yourself with the quirks of each.



Additional Learning Materials:


  1. Looking for a Job? 6 Questions to Ask Your Recruiters (2 pages) (LO5)
  2. Legal and Illegal Interview Questions (LO3)

References for Remixed Materials:

BC Cook Articulation Committee (n.d.) Working in the food service industry. Pressbooks.

Cuddy, A. (2012, October 1). Your body language may shape who you are [Video]. YouTube.

Gunderson, J. (2017, February 8). Looking for a job? 6 questions to ask your recruiter.

King, S. (n.d.). Legal and illegal interview questions.

Levitin, D. (2015, November 23). How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed [Video]. YouTube.

Treasure, J (2014, June 27). How to speak so that people want to listen [Video]. YouTube.


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Graduate Internship by Andrea Bearman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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