Skip Navigation
Oklahoma State University
Student Affairs


The 411 on Job Interviews

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Pistol Pete approaches the HireOSUGrads Booth at the Career Fair in proper job-seeking attire.

Have an internship or job interview soon?

Are you suddenly aware of your lack of professional clothes and need for a haircut?

dog covers it's eyes

Listen up, Pokes!

Making the best first impression is your to key to success. Your attitude, outfit and choice of words can make or break an interview!

Here’s some advice for before, during and after your interview:


First off, be proud! Getting an interview is awesome in itself.

girl high-fives self

Now onto the business...

First: Get to know the company you’re interviewing! Nine times out of 10 interviewers ask if you have any questions about the company or what they do.

I'm gonna look that up

You will look and sound AMAZING if you ask about their mission statement or history.

Here are the basics:

Get a good night’s sleep. Don’t wait ‘til midnight to get in bed.. You’ll regret it in the morning when you’re trying to be awesome.

Sleeping with do not disturb mask

Eat a good breakfast. #TreatYoSelf to some eggs, bacon and fruit. Save that energy drink for a different day.

Brush your teeth. Nothing worse for a first impression than BAD BREATH.

man brushing teeth

Dress appropriately. Guys, wear slacks with a button down and a tie. Girls, slacks or a knee length skirt with a cute top will work.

suit and tie, looking good

#PROTIP: Make sure your clothes are stain and wrinkle free!

Prepare questions. Bring a few questions about the history of the company in case awkward silence comes around and you want to take the lead.

Visit with OSU Career Services. They offer mock interviews, resume guidance and other assistance in this area.


How you act during the interview will say a lot about yourself, so be professional and sit up straight.

Follow these tips to breeze through the tough parts:

Shake your interviewer’s hand. A firm handshake and eye contact will go a long way for a first impression. No one wants to shake hands with a limp fish.

shake hands confidently

Speak clearly and BE CONFIDENT. You’ve got this! Be proud of yourself and answer the questions thoroughly.

Toy Story's Woody walking out with confidence

Keep eye contact. Common courtesy, people. No need to be looking at the wall behind them or fidgeting with your clothes.

Don’t be scared … they were once in your shoes.

Scared pup

Be yourself. When the hobby question comes around, speak the truth. Don’t fall back on reading and cooking only.

Be authentic/unique. Mention an interesting hobby or fun fact to make sure you’re remembered.

Don’t use slang. YES, not yeah.

Ask questions. Be interested! You’re there for the job, so show them how important this opportunity is for you.

What NOT to do:

Don’t use words you don’t know the meaning of. How awkward could that get?

Don’t bring coffee. You’re a grown up and can wait.

spilling coffee

Sit properly. Don’t slouch or lean on your chair or table.

Don’t get defensive. Nothing can lead to the turmoil of a first impression as fast as defensive comments. Be polite like your momma raised you.

Leave your phone in the car. Having your digital buddy around can distract from the purpose at hand -- getting the job. Save the Snap and GroupMe updates for later.


This is the time to make yourself stand out more than ever. When the interview is over, always thank them for their time. Shake hands and smile! Be friendly.

alice in wonderland, thank you

Send a thank you letter via email or handwritten note.

Create a list of items you thought you did well on and some you would like to improve on.  Even if you don’t end up getting the position, it was great practice for next time!

Follow up. Has it been a week or two and you still haven’t heard back? Shoot them another email saying how much you look forward to hearing from them.  

Now you’ve got the tips to blow your interview out of the water! Good luck and GO POKES!


blog comments powered by Disqus