Ask the Expert: Five Tips for a Successful Interview 

Posted Oct 05, 2023

How can I get the job? Students want to know the best tips for having a successful interview and what questions are important to ask.   

Associate Director Paul Newell works at Otterbein’s Career for Student Success and Career Development and gave his top five tips for students to have a successful interview.  

1.) Research: Do your research regarding the company and write down any information that is important on an index card. You can use this information during a phone interview or when they ask, “Why do you want to work for us?” Look at their company history, mission statement, success rating, and goals for the present year. These items can be part of your conversation and show you have interest in their company. 

2.) Behavioral Based Interview Questions: Create stories that you can share regarding experiences from your past work experience that connect directly to the job requirements in the position you are interviewing for. Literally and figuratively, take the hiring manager “Over the bridge” so they can see you in this position. Stories can be about being a Team Player, Manager, Supervisor, Project Planner, etc. Use whatever is a requirement in the actual job description as the topic for your stories. 

3.) S-T-A-R technique: Use this technique when answering Behavioral-Based Interview Questions 

S – “Set up” where the story takes place (where you were working). 

T – What was the “task” you were given to accomplish? 

A – What were the “action steps” you took? 

R – What was the “result” of your action? 

4.) Elevator Pitch: Always have your “Elevator Pitch” tailored for the specific job you are interviewing for so you are prepared to respond to the statement “Tell me about yourself…” during the interview. 

5.) Prepare 4-5 Questions to Ask: Always have at least 4-5 questions to ask the Hiring Manager at the end of the interview. Some examples: 

  1. You hired me as your__________. It is my 90-day review and you are telling me that I am doing an outstanding job. What will I have accomplished? 
  1. Why do you like working here, beyond receiving a paycheck? 
  1. I have all the skills and energy you are looking for to help your company achieve its goals. I want to work here and be a part of your team. What are the next steps in the interview process? 

6.) Bonus Tip: Stop in and see us at Student Success and Career Development! We’re here to help! 

Student Success & Career Development is located in the Lower Level of Towers Hall (027) 
Hours: Monday – Friday (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) 
Phone: 614-823-1624 
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