The most common second stage of the job search process is one or more interviews. It is important to prepare for an interview by researching the employer as well as yourself; that is, you should be able to answer questions about your experiences, skills, and interests in a way that is accessible to the general public, not only to other specialists in your field. This is true for both academic jobs and jobs in industry, non-profits, and government.

A number of events sponsored by the Graduate School are aimed at interview strategies. Check out the events page for upcoming workshops.

Before the interview

General interviewing guidelines on the MSU Career Services Network Interviewing page

One way to prepare for interviews is to draft answers for potential interview questions, such as these “ 100 Potential Interview Questions.” Don’t forget to prepare for the infamous “weakness” question. Preparing for an interview includes researching the potential employers; click here to learn more.

You can also prepare by mock interviewing with InterviewStream or by arranging in person mock interviews on Handshake:

  • InterviewStream: A simulated mock interview tool that gives you questions based on your experience level. Available online 24/7. - Great for practicing an interview for the first time or brushing up on hard-to-answer questions.

Informational interviews are also great preparation for job interviews, even though they are not intended to lead to jobs.

During the interview

Methods for answering questions:

Body language and comportment:

After the interview

Don't forget to send a thank you note or email after your interview.

Phone & Skype Interviews

Phone interviews and Skype or video interviews are increasingly common, especially when applying for positions that are not local. Most of the suggestions that apply to in-person interviews also apply to phone or Skype interviews with a few exceptions. Resources addressing phone and Skype interviews include:

Special circumstances

Interviewing when pregnant

Higher ed interviews - academic, administration, faculty

Federal government interviews

Education and teaching interviews

Business and management interviews

Consulting interviews