USC Upstate: Interviews Untitled Page

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The Basics

  • Be prepared
  • Have two or three good questions for the interviewer
  • Be yourself at all times
  • Remember: the interview is primarily for you to sell yourself
  • Be punctual, arrive 5-10 min early

What is the interviewer looking for?
Regardless of the interview style used, the interviewer is looking for certain traits or benchmarks in order to compare you to the "typical" person who has been successful in that firm, such as:

  • Personality
  • Verbal communication
  • Ability to be convincing
  • Self-confidence/poise
  • Assertiveness
  • Professional appearance
  • Motivation
  • Leadership ability
  • Understanding of the organization you are interested in
  • Extent of interest in a career with the firm/organization
  • Academic preparation

Things to Avoid:
Watch out for any habitual signs of nervousness (e.g., laughing, finger-fidgeting or squirming). Everyone is nervous during an interview.

  • Do not be overly concerned with the possibility of rejection. Instead, focus on the possibility of getting the job and on what you can do for the employer.
  • Never be critical of a company or the performance of anyone employed there. Above all, do not "bad mouth" a former supervisor.
  • Do not argue. Sell yourself with confidence, but always keep the discussion friendly and open.
  • Do not show irritation with delays or interruptions--even if you are irritated. Help the interviewer run a good interview, whether he or she is good at it or not.
  • Do not apologize for things you cannot change or are not responsible for (e.g., your age, education or work history).
  • Do not lie or pretend. Do not be afraid to admit there is something you do not know.
Questions Commonly Asked by Interviewers

Questions to ask a staffing agency before applying for a job 

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Career Services Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Contact Us

Sherry McAdams
Director, Career Services

Phone: 864-503-5393 

Kristen Bryant Perry
Career Services Advisor
Phone: 864-503-5993

Career Services
Library 203
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: 864-503-5392
Fax: 864-503-5931
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