Prepare yourself for interviews with structured questions and tips.

Job interviewing can be a nerve-wracking experience. The interview is an opportunity for the applicant and interviewer to ask questions, elaborate on experiences, and evaluate if it could be a good working relationship. Therefore, the interviewing process holds a lot of value and a lot of effort goes into it.

Prepare and Practice

Before the interview:

Preparing for an Interview

Be Familiar With…

  • The organization
  • Basic trends in the field
  • The position description
  • Common interview questions and styles
  • Questions to ask during and when you’re scheduling your interview
Practice for an Interview
  • Know what you want to say – but don’t memorize your answers.
  • Visualize positive interactions and outcomes.
  • Be sure to practice out loud.
  • Get feedback:
    • Ask people help you practice or record yourself to review your body language, word choice, and tone.
    • Need a pep talk?
      • Come to drop-in advising for brief pointers
    • Want to practice with a career advisor?
      • Schedule an appointment for a mock interview
    • Practice on your own with Big Interview: online mock interview tool.

During the Interview:


Have a 10 – 30 sec. self-introduction or elevator speech

  • For introducing yourself to interviewers
  • For receptionists and others you encounter
Interview Stages

These parts of interviews may happen in separate stages or weave back and forth.

  • Small talk: to help you get comfortable
  • Asking you questions: allowing you both to determine your fit with the company
  • Providing info about the position/organization: if you and the position match
  • You ask questions: during or at the end.
  • Closure: to help you know what happens next.

After the Interview:

  • Send a thank you note:  Write a brief letter or email thanking the employer for their time, the opportunity to meet with them, and the chance to be considered. View Example.
  • Connect: Connect with the employer using LinkedIn to establish a professional relationship you can utilize in the future.
  • Follow-up: Reach out via email or phone to:
    • Reconnect and ask about the decision timeline
    • Offer further information and availability for follow-up
    • Thank the employer again for the opportunity
  • Don’t stop job hunting: Keep looking for more opportunities, openings, interviews, and chances to make an employment connection
  • Don’t burn bridges: No matter what happens, remain positive in your communication and with regards to talking about the employer, interview, etc. Even if things don’t work out, you may make a critical connection for use in the future.
  • Don’t place too much importance on one job or interview: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or on one opportunity, keep looking and working towards your goal no matter what happens.

Registering for Big Interview

  • Go to Big Interview.
  • Click Register (Upper right-hand corner).
  • Register using your UWM email address.
  • Activate your account.
  • Start the tour.
  • Visit a career advisor for more help navigating Big Interview.

General Interview Strategies

  • Anticipate Questions: Review typical interview questions and identify field specific questions you are likely to encounter.
  • Write Phrases: Focus on the basic points you want to make. Do not write detailed word for word answers.
  • Practice Out Loud: Even if you are comfortable talking to new people and presenting your ideas or work outcomes, practicing will help identify aspects of your answers that are missing or difficult to understand. Practice online using the Mock Interview tool in PantherJobs.
  • Practice Using Varying Detail: This will make you more adaptive to different interview situations and interviewers preferences.
  • Don’t memorize answers!