Assessing your Interviewing Skills

Research and practice are key to a successful interview. Just as your résumé and cover letter are tailored to specific employers and fields, so should be the traits you choose to emphasize in your interview.

Hanover alumni in human resources tell us the behaviors below are particularly important when they interview candidates. If you have already had a formal job interview, rate how you did at that time; if not, rate how well you think you are able to demonstrate these behaviors given your current knowledge and experience. Use a scale of 1-3 (3 is high).


You create a good first impression
You arrive 10 minutes early, and have turned your phone off.
Your clothing and grooming are appropriate for the field.*
Your eye contact is good.
Your handshake is firm
You demonstrate self-confidence, poise and attentiveness.
You provide a targeted résumé (or grad school application materials, if applicable).

You demonstrate strong communication skills

You speak smoothly and confidently.
You provide the appropriate level of detail.
You use proper grammar.*
You avoid verbal tics ("like," "um," etc.)
You use first person singular when providing examples from your past experience.

You express enthusiasm for and suitedness to the position

You demonstrate specific knowledge of the organization and position.
You describe skills, traits and experience that emphasize key qualifications for the specific position and organization.*
You are able to explain your résumé clearly and highlight its strength relative to the position.
You link your answers to their relevance to the specific organization and position.
You provide varied and relevant illustrations of strengths drawn from past activities (behavioral interviewing).
When discussing weaknesses, you choose an example that is not central to the position and describe ways you have addressed it.
You bring well-researched, written questions for the recruiter with you to the interview and ask them.

You close the interview effectively

You conclude the interview by expressing interest in the position.*
You request information about the proper follow-up process and time frame.

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How did you do?

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