Get Ready for the Interview

Interviews provide the opportunity to communicate your skills and experience to employers as you learn about the position and organization you’re applying to. There may be several qualified candidates, but you should be able to explain what makes you unique and why your UF experience qualifies you for their organization. Interviews are also an opportunity to gauge whether an organization is a good fit for you.

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Plan for Interviewing Success

Interviewing success often requires practice, here are the ways we can help you:

On Campus Interview Policies

We connect you to employers who host interviews on campus through the Career Resource Center, it’s important to know your responsibilities when you agree to an on-campus interview. Review the On-Campus Interview Policy Manual to learn how we compliment your success and know your responsibilities.

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Know Yourself

One of the main goals of an interview is for the employer to get to know you. You should show up to the interview prepared to confidently discuss your:

  • Interest in the Field
  • Academic Career
  • Relevant Work Experience
  • Transferable Skills
  • Technical & Language skills
  • Interest in Position/Organization
  • Certifications & Trainings
  • Campus Involvement
  • Leadership
  • Awards & Achievements
  • Professional Goals
  • Volunteer Work

Telling Your Story

For most interviews, you will be asked situational and behavioral questions. These questions give the employer insight into how you will perform in the future, based on past decisions and experiences.

The S.T.A.R. Method will help you thoroughly answer these questions. The S.T.A.R. Method is a technique for answering questions that structures your answers in a way that gives the interviewer all of the relevant information about a specific qualification for a job.

S.T.A.R. stands for:

Situation

Set the stage. Tell the interviewer about a specific challenge or situation that you have faced. You should give enough details for your audience to understand and envision the story taking place.

Task

What were you trying to achieve? What task did you assume or what where you assigned to do? What was the project or assignment? Tell the interview what you were aiming to accomplish in this story.

Action

What was YOUR role? If problems or challenges arose, how did you handle it? Tell the interviewer what you did and why.

Results and Reflection

What was the outcome of this story? Did you meet your objective? You should also show that you have learned and grown from this experience by sharing how you have applied that knowledge since.

Following Up

After an interview, send a short thank you note or email to the employer. This should be sent within 24 hours of the interview. Thank the employer for their time and consideration. If possible, include something specific from your interaction to help jog their memory. Keep your thank you note short and concise.

Negotiating Salary

Salary negotiation can be an intimidating process. It is important to approach the conversation armed with information and confidence. It is important to have realistic expectations based on facts. Resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook will show you the average salary for people in your field.

You should also consider using a salary calculator, like the ones below, to determine the salary of other individuals with similar levels of education and experience.

Job Seekers Salary Calculator
Payscale

Life After the Swamp

The Life After the Swamp series, hosted each fall and spring, may assist you with preparing for your interview experience. Look for this semester’s session in the event section of Gator CareerLink.

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