What’s the purpose of a job interview?

A job interview is a formal meeting in which an individual or panel representing a potential employer questions and/or evaluates a potential employee. It's your responsibility as an interviewee to respond to questions in a way that connects your personal skills, values, education, and interests to the duties and responsibilities of the position.

Preparing for interviews

  • Do your homework by reading the job description and highlighting key parts. Learn about the company by reading its mission statement, learning about its organizational structure, and searching for recent news articles.
  • Anticipate what questions will be asked. You can be sure that the interviewer will ask some form of the “tell me about yourself” question. Other questions might involve your strengths and weaknesses, certain parts of your resume, or how you behave in certain situations.
  • For more tips, check out Big Interview.

During the interview

  • Arrive about ten minutes early and introduce yourself confidently.
  • Come prepared with extra copies of your resume, questions for the employer, and a padfolio (see Career Services if you don’t have one).
  • Use the CAR method for behavioral based interview questions (“Tell me about a time when…”)
    • Context: Provide details about the situation.
    • Action: Share what you did to resolve the situation.
    • Result: End by sharing the positive result of your work.
  • Make sure to ask, “What are the next steps?” at the end of your interview.

After the interview

  • You should send a thank you note to everyone you interviewed with. You can send the thank you notes by mail or email, but they should include the following:
    • Thank the employer for meeting with you to discuss the position. Make sure to mention the specific position you interviewed for.
    • Reiterate your interest in the position. Remind the employer how you would be a good fit for the position. Mention some specific talking points from your interview.
    • Express that you’re willing to provide any additional information the employer might need to make a decision.
  • For grammar tips and writing help, contact the Tutoring and Learning Center.

Sample thank you note

  • Dear Ms. Ortiz,
  • Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the Assistant Director of Development position with WMLR-Channel 57. I enjoyed our interview very much. 
  • This opportunity sounds exciting and challenging for someone with my energy level and commitment to public television. The Assistant Director of Development position offers an experience ideally suited for someone with my skills and abilities.
  • I would be happy to provide any additional information you may need regarding my candidacy. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
  • Sincerely,
  • Laurie Jones

Your next steps

One of the best ways to practice interviewing is by signing up for a mock interview with Career Services. In a mock interview, you'll practice answering real interview questions and get feedback to use for your next interview. Before coming in for a mock interview, we ask that you complete Basic Interview Skills Training, a Canvas course developed by the Oxford campus. Completing this course gives you access to on-campus interviews in Oxford, too. Once you request access and complete the course, email Linda Vogt at to verify that you're eligible for both mock interviews and on-campus interviews in Oxford.

Request to enroll in the Basic Interview Skills Training course.

Schedule a mock interview.