Ace Your Interview

You should be able to use your research to tailor your answers to the employer/position, demonstrate your preparedness and passion for the position, and develop strong questions to ask at the end of your interview.

Start by going to the company's website and reading about their products, services, stock performance, company history, organization, successes, current news, social media, Glassdoor, informational interviews, and future direction. Here are some tips on things to look for: company growth, financial information, company objectives/strategy/mission, market share, technology issues, legal & regulatory issues, reputation.

In addition to learning about the employer, you need to be familiar with the tasks and qualifications requested in the position description and what you find exciting. You should do research on your salary expectations and review salary negotiation best practices. Note that ideally, this discussion will not happen until there is an official offer.

  • Identify and write down specific examples of situations from your past work experience, classroom and academic accomplishments, student activities, and leadership that demonstrate your strengths and skills. Examples of teamwork, problem-solving, customer service, planning, taking initiative, communication, managing multiple projects with deadlines, leadership in a group, and ability to work well with diverse personalities and backgrounds are of special interest to employers. Think about how these relate to the job.
  • Know what is on your resume and be ready to discuss it in detail.
  • Identify your short and long range goals along with your reasons for wanting the position. How do those fit together?

  • Dress for Success Infographic

    Are you attending a career fair or interview? Are you starting a new job or attending a conference? Every profession or professional event has differing expectations for appropriate dress. However, dressing in business professional or business casual attire will set you up for success!

    Key tips for all attire types:

    • All clothing should be wrinkle-free.
    • Limit the use of perfume or cologne.
    • If you decide to wear a skirt or dress, ensure the length is appropriate and is not too short (knee-length is an excellent rule to keep).
    • Ensure your clothing is not too tight.
    • Worn, dirty, or frayed clothing is unacceptable.

    Pro Tip 1: As a University of Arkansas student, you can borrow free professional clothing from ASG’s Boss Hog Outfitters. For more information, visit

    Pro Tip 2: These are not comprehensive lists of attire items to wear or to avoid. If you are unsure of what to wear or what attire to avoid, we encourage you to make an appointment with your career coach.

    Industry standards for business professional attire includes suits, dress shoes, and neutral colors and hues. Business professional attire always includes a blazer over your dress, blouse, or button-up shirt. This type of dress is highly suggested for interviews or career fairs.

    • Clothing should reflect a neutral color palette.
    • Suits with matching bottoms should be worn – matching blazer and bottom (skirt or pants). If you opt for a dress, be sure to wear a blazer over it.
    • Dress shoes include flats, heels, and loafers and should be closed toe. If heels are your preferred option, the heel should be no higher than about 3 inches.
    • If you are inclined to wear makeup, keep it neat and simple.
    • Opt for a blouse or button-up shirt.
    • A tie is optional but is typically worn.
    • Wear simple accessories (watches and jewelry).

    Business casual attire allows you to add color, variety, and creativity to your professional wardrobe. This type of attire still maintains a professional, polished look, but more formal items, such as ties or matching blazers and bottoms, are not required.

    • Blazers do not have to be the same color as bottoms (skirts or pants).
    • Khaki pants and dress capri pants are all acceptable options.
    • Polo shirts are acceptable, but t-shirts are not.
    • Ties are not necessary but can be worn.
    • Avoid spaghetti straps and narrow-shoulder tops, or dresses if not hidden underneath a blazer or cardigan.
    • More vibrant or bolder accessories can be worn.

    • Flip-flops or tennis shoes
    • Hoodies
    • Crop tops
    • Shorts
    • Athletic or yoga wear
    • Leggings without proper coverage
    • Any clothing that is see through or contains words, terms, or images
    • Heels that are higher than about 3 inches

    You can leverage ChatGPT to gain valuable career insights, enhance your career readiness skills, and make informed decisions as you explore career options and prepare career application materials.

    Simulate interview scenarios, practice your responses to common questions and receive feedback to improve your answers.

    Using prompts is the primary way to interact with ChatGPT. A prompt is a piece of text that you provide ChatGPT to request specific information or start a conversation. Use the following prompts in the “Send a message” field to gain career insights:

    Interview Prompts

    • What are typical interview questions asked by employers for this position: [POSITION]
    • What are typical interview questions asked by employers for this position: [POSITION] include questions about [SKILLS]
    • Give me some sample responses to interview questions for [POSITION]
    • Based on my experience in [POSITION], what skills should I highlight in an interview for [NEW COMPANY]. Use my resume as a reference. [RESUME]
    • You're the interviewer for this role: [job description]. Can you come up with 3-5 interview questions based on this job description?
    • I'm interviewing for [job title] at [company/type of company], and this is part of the job description: [section of the job description in question]. What does this responsibility entail? How do I showcase this skill in an interview?
    • I’m interviewing for [job title] and expect to be asked [question you think the hiring manager will ask you]. What’s the best way to answer this question?
    • What are good questions to ask while interviewing for the [POSITION] position?

    AI-generated content is intended to be informative and helpful; however, it should not be considered as professional advice or a substitute for consulting with qualified experts in career services. We encourage users to independently verify and cross-reference the information provided by the AI model with other reliable sources before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the content. The AI-generated content should be used as a draft for written documents and a starting point for career research and exploration, but it is essential to exercise critical thinking and judgment when editing, interpreting and applying the information for your own career or job search needs.

    Receive in-person assistance in our walk-up Career Studio after taking the first steps with AI.

    1. Could you tell me about yourself?

    Mention your major/why you chose it, any relevant experience/skills specific to the job, one or two important accomplishments, and why you’re excited for this particular job.

    2. What interests you in the position?

    Be honest about your goals and their match for this position. Show enthusiasm for the job to demonstrate interest in staying with the company for a while.

    3. What do you know about our company?

    Research the company beforehand and relay the fact that you’ve read the website, articles, company trends, new products/services, awards etc. You should pick out key areas of interest and mention why it appeals to you.

    4. Could you share 2 or 3 of your greatest strengths?

    Mention strengths that match the job description or skills in the industry and provide a specific example of when you used those strengths.

    5. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment to date?

    Think about an event or accomplishment that was exceptionally challenging, enjoyable, or satisfying. Choose one that you were heavily involved in and describe it as a story from start to finish. The interviewer wants to learn not only what you consider a great accomplishment but also what that accomplishment tells about your skills and what you value.

    6. What is something about yourself that you try to improve upon (aka weakness)?

    Think of a genuine weakness and give a specific example of how you are improving upon that weakness. Stay positive and avoid the canned answers like "I'm a perfectionist" or "I work too hard." You should also avoid weaknesses that could make or break the job like not working well with others, personality traits that are difficult to change, or a major duty of the job

    7. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

    There is no right answer to these sorts of questions - it's all about trying to see your thought processes, how you handle being put on the spot, and your ability to be a little creative. Try not to overthink it and just have fun with it.

    8. Why should we hire you?

    Point out how your assets or strengths meet what the organization needs (as read from the job description). You should not mention other candidates to make a comparison.

    9. Are you planning to start a family soon?

    In interviewing, some questions are illegal to ask because they offer the employer the opportunity to discriminate against the applicant; these questions often address family planning, religion, nationality, age, disability, or sexual orientation. If asked an illegal question, you can choose to answer or deflect based on your comfort.

    Many employers will evaluate your answers using the STAR-L method:

  • S/T = Situation or Task
  • A = Action (including your specific role within the group)
  • R = Results
  • L = Learned
  • When answering behavioral interview questions, describe the situation or task, discuss the action steps you took, tell the results, and tell what you learned from the experience.

    To prepare for behavioral interview questions:

  • Recall situations that show favorable behaviors or actions and prepare short descriptions of each.
  • Be sure each story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
  • Be specific. Don't generalize about several events; give a detailed accounting of a particular situation.
  • Below are some sample behavioral questions:

    1. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a group to complete a project or goal.
    2. Describe a time when you were challenged or put under pressure.
    3. Tell me about a specific time when you had to work in a team and there was a conflict.
    4. Give an example of a time when you lead a project from start to finish.
    5. Discuss a time when you helped solve a problem in a highly imaginative or innovative way.

    At the end of the interview, you may be asked if you have questions for your interview. Always have questions prepared that will demonstrate your enthusiasm and research. Stay away from questions regarding promotions, benefits, and pay. Below are some sample questions.

    1. What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate?
    2. Do you offer any professional development or continuing education opportunities?
    3. Can you show me or tell me about projects I will be working on?
    4. What are the most important things you'd like to see someone accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job?
    5. What's your favorite part about working here?
    6. What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does this team work to support hitting those goals?
    7. How has the company changed since you joined?
    8. What is the company and team culture like?
    9. What is the next step in the hiring process?

    Phone or Video Interview: You will still prepare for this interview like you otherwise would, although you don't need to dress up for a phone interview. Make sure that you have a quiet place free from disruptions to interview and that your phone or internet connection is reliable. The Offices of Career Connections has a Skype interview room that is available for free to students.

    On-Site Interview: Often longer than phone or video interviews and involve a combination of a facilities tour, one or more interviews, a presentation, a meal, and/or a case study. Most companies will give you directions about what to expect. You should have questions prepared for multiple people and be prepared to answer the same questions multiple times.

    Group Interview: Include multiple interviewees, and it is important to involve everyone and be friendly. The interviewers are trying to ascertain your interpersonal and teamwork skills. It’s also important to be yourself and play to your strengths. Strike a balance of speaking (with purpose) and listening to others. You shouldn’t dominate the conversation, but you should be present.

    Technical Interview: Might be conducted via phone, video, or in person. They will concentrate on your technical knowledge relevant to the position. These interviews are most common in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields.

    One-on-One Interview: Takes place between one interviewee and one interviewer and could include traditional, behavioral, or technical questions.

    Panel Interview: Takes place between one interviewee and two or more interviewers and could include traditional, behavioral, or technical questions.

    Role Play: Involves pretending to be within a situation that could arise at work so the interviewer(s) can see how you react to a situation. Interviewers are often looking for confidence, problem solving, leadership, and communication skills. You are typically given time to prepare. Role plays can be with the interviewer or with a group.

    How to Negotiate Your Salary

    Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve probably received a job offer or are anticipating one soon. Salary negotiation is an important (if not THE most important) piece in the job offer stage. Follow these three steps to effectively negotiate your salary or view this printable infographic.

    Step 1: Look at the job description and identify what skills and experiences you have that are relevant to the position. These will help you justify your request for a salary increase. The more skills that match the job description, the more justification you have to negotiate a higher salary! If you have additional skills or more experience not mentioned in the job description that could be useful for the position, that would be good to emphasize as well.

    Simple chart with the first column: “They Want” above “What skills are included in the job description?” and the second column: “I have” above “Which skills do I have that I can emphasize?”

    Step 2: Research the average salary for your position using the websites below. Be sure you are comparing jobs of similar functions and in the same geographic location. - Employer supplied data regarding employee salaries

    Glassdoor - Employee supplied data regarding employee salaries

    How Much - Salary calculator for cost of living, broken down to city regions

    Pay Scale - Based on salary profiles by area

    A line graph showing a range of $29,000 at the 25% point and $42,000 at the 75% point, with the average salary of $35,000 at the peak of the parabola.

    Once you’ve identified the average salary (ex: $35,000) for the type of position and region, identify your target salary based on your experience and skills that are relevant to the position. The more skills and experience that matches or exceeds what the job description lists, the higher your target salary can be. Once you’ve identified a target salary amount (ex: $37,000), determine a Bolstering Range. Use the bolstering range instead of your target salary when telling the employer how much you are hoping to be paid. This range is anchored on the low end by your target salary and then can go up to 20% maximum for the range. Telling the employer a salary range is better than a specific amount as it gives both you and the employer some leeway in the negotiation.

    Box and whisker plot. Minimum data point is at $30,000. $34,000 is the Resistance Point. $37,000 is the Target Salary. $41,000 is the Target Salary + 10-20%. The maximum data point is $45,000. A green box designating the Bolstering Range is displayed between $37,000 and $41,000.

    The Resistance Point shown on the image above is the lowest salary you will take. It is important to know this so that you know when to push back in a negotiation.

    Step 3: Identify which benefits you are wanting to negotiate in addition to your salary. Benefits such as health insurance, flexible hours, retirement, vacation time, relocation expenses, hiring bonus, etc. can also be negotiated. This is important to remember as employers may be willing to negotiate a better parking spot or flexible hours to offset not being able to pay your targeted salary. Create a prioritized list of the salary and benefits you desire to negotiate, and practice speaking your planned negotiation out loud. Identify multiple ways that you can be told no in each step of your negotiation and develop persuasive responses.

    Quick Tips

    • Don’t name a salary first; instead deflect.
    • Utilize ‘we’ language and remain positive/flexible.
    • Get everything in writing at both the beginning and end.
    • Trust your gut. If you feel like the employer is unhappy that you’re continuing to negotiate, trust your instincts.

    • I interviewed for [job title] at [company/type of company]. We talked about [describe what you talked about in the interview]. What should I write in my thank-you note to my interviewer who is [role of interviewer]?
    • I interviewed for [job title] at [company/type of company], and I’m planning to send a thank-you note to [role of interviewer]. Here’s what I’ve written: [thank-you note draft]. Do you have feedback on how I could write this better?
    • I interviewed for [job title] at [company/type of company], and I have a follow-up question for my interviewer. How can I ask it in a follow-up email?
    • Write a thank you email to an interviewer. Reference (something you discussed).

    AI-generated content is intended to be informative and helpful; however, it should not be considered as professional advice or a substitute for consulting with qualified experts in career services. We encourage users to independently verify and cross-reference the information provided by the AI model with other reliable sources before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the content. The AI-generated content should be used as a draft for written documents and a starting point for career research and exploration, but it is essential to exercise critical thinking and judgment when editing, interpreting and applying the information for your own career or job search needs.

    Receive in-person assistance in our walk-up Career Studio after taking the first steps with AI.

    After being granted an opportunity to be hired, to learn, or generally be helped, writing a thank you card is appropriate. Thank you cards can be send via post or email, depending on the situation.


    Dear [Person you are thanking],

    [Thank the person for the their time and support. Reference something specific you spoke about with them, such as a piece of advice or information that you found helpful or interesting and how you will implement it (if applicable). Mention your enthusiasm for the field or position if relevant.]

    [Express a willingness to help them in the future.]


    [Your name]

    Offices of Career Connections

    Arkansas Union Nola Holt Royster Suite 607

    CORD 1st and 3rd Floors

    BELL 2258



    Monday - Friday

    8am - 5pm

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    Thanks to Our Employer Partners!

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