What is an interview?

An interview is a two way process.  The company is trying to decide if they would like to hire you and you are trying to decide if this is a place where you would like to work.

What is your goal?

To get an offer.  If you get an offer, you make the decision.  If you don’t, you have had the decision made for you.

How do you achieve this goal?

Concentrate on convincing them that you have the experience they are looking for and are interested in the position.  Make your decision after you have had time to reflect on the interview, not during the interview.

The Structure of Interviews


Ask open-ended questions about the Company, the Group, and the Position


Can you tell me a little bit about the company strategically . . . like where have you been (as an organization) and where are you going?

Can you tell me about the group?  Where do you fit into the organization as a whole?  Where have you been (as a group) and where are you going?  What is the technical environment?

What are the duties and responsibilities of this position?  What specifically are you looking for?

The most important questions you can ask as early as possible are…. What are you really looking for?  What will it take for someone can be successful on your team?


Tell them about your background

  • Highlight skills that are most relevant
  • Draw comparisons to show similarities with what you have done to what they are looking for.
  • If you don’t have a skill
  • Express interest in learning the skill.
  • Show confidence that you can come up to speed quickly.   
  • Share an example of another relevant skill or experience.


Summarize what they said that was important to them from the “Most Important Question” and how you match up to their needs.  Tell them that you are interested and tell them that you can do the job!  Ask them how they feel you fit for the job and what the next step might be.

How to Handle Questions About Salary

On an application, if asked “Salary Desired”, put “Negotiable or Open”.

If asked about salary, just say, “I’m like anyone, I’d like to make as much as I can, but salary is not the only consideration.  If you are interested in what I bring to the team I will consider any competitive offer.”



  • Show up on time or slightly early                             
  • Firm handshake and maintain good eye contact      
  • Use good posture                                                  
  • Concentrate your efforts on impressing them            


  • Chew gum
  • Ask about salary or benefits
  • Be too cocky or too modest
  • Talk too much or too little with what you can do for them

Remember, first impressions are usually lasting impressions, so give it your best effort.

Last modified: March 23, 2019



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