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It's just a little conversation

Most interviewers will make a decision about you in the first 30 seconds of the interview, so it is vital to create a great impression. Preparing well in advance of your interview will ensure confidence and professionalism on your big day.

Mock Interviews

The Center for Career and Professional Development offers mock interviews to further enhance your interview skills using a free, online platform or an in-person option for upper-level students. Practice can really make a huge difference as you prepare for different types of interviews.

Mock interview services

Practice Using Online Interview System,

Available to all students and alumni.

  1. Log on to Handshake using your mySFA credentials.
  2. Click on "Career Center" at the top of the homepage.
  3. Select "Resources."
  4. Select "Interview Practice Using" and follow the instructions listed there. For students completing a class assignment, you will need the Assignment Access Code from your professor.

After you complete your video on, complete this form to request that a CCPD staff member critique your interview.

For class assignments and more detailed instructions concerning a virtual mock interview, please see our detailed guide.

Practice with the CCPD

Available to alumni and students with 60 or more credit hours.

Before attending your on-campus mock interview, read the preparation guide.

  1. Log on to Handshake using your mySFA credentials.
  2. Click on "Career Center" at the top of the homepage.
  3. Select "Appointments".
  4. Click “Schedule a New Appointment” and select "Mock Interview".
  5. Select the date and time that works best for your schedule!

Upcoming interview: Tips and resources to help

Preparing for the interview

Before the interview: Your first impression

  • Get plenty of sleep.
    • Refrain from staying up late or partying. Alcohol and smoke aromas linger, even if you can't smell them.
  • If you are not sure where the interview is taking place, do a practice run.
  • Check the gas tank or bus schedule to minimize delays.
  • Assess the parking situation. Will you have direct access to parking or have to pay?
  • Confirm the time, date and location of the interview.
  • Confirm the interviewer's name, title and status in the organization.
  • If interviewing in the morning, make sure to set two alarms.
  • Select and try on your attire.

Interview day!

Before the interview

  • Review your résumé and notes.
  • Be prepared with:
    • extra résumés and reference lists
    • transcripts
    • notepad and pen
    • and any documents or items that illustrate your skills.
  • Arrive to your interview location at least 15 minutes early.
  • Be personable, professional and polite to everyone you meet, from the security guard to the administrative assistant.
    • You never know who is providing input to the selection.
  • If your interview involves a meal, brush up on your etiquette.

Introducing yourself

When the interviewer comes your way:

  • Immediately stand, smile, make direct eye contact and extend your hand for a firm handshake.
  • Positively and enthusiastically introduce yourself.
    • Example: "Ms. Moneybags, I'm Carl Candidate. It's great to meet you. I am very excited about our interview!"

During the interview

  • Be yourself
  • Display a calm and poised attitude, even if you have interview jitters.
  • Maintain appropriate eye contact with the interviewer(s).
  • Build rapport with small talk.
    • Avoid controversial topics.
  • Do not interrupt the interviewer.
    • Listen to the questions carefully .
    • Pause slightly to gather your thoughts.
    • Do not respond until the questions are asked fully.
  • Speak with confidence and enthusiasm.
  • If you do not know the answer to a question, do not pretend that you do.
  • Take your time answering questions; be thoughtful in your answers.
  • Remember the S.T.A.R. Method to help you get through your answers
  • Stay positive during tough questions that interviewers may be using to eliminate you.

Closing the interview

  • Ask about the next step in the process
    • When you can expect to hear from them?
  • Say you want the job (if you do) and show sincere interest
  • Ask for a business card and thank the interviewer for their time and for considering you.

After the interview

Within 24 hours...

  • Send out a thank you letter.
  • Evaluate the interview.
    • What questions were most difficult?
    • Make notes for yourself about how you can improve your interviewing skills.
    • If you have not heard from them by the date given, contact them.
    • Keep searching for employment!

Decisions after receiving job offer

First — get the offer in writing. Express appreciation for the offer and ask for time to think about your decision. Agree on a reasonable time frame to get back to them with your decision. After you have considered what's important to you and dealt with salary negotiations, you will need to send a formal decision to tell them if you accept or decline the offer.

If you choose to accept their offer, you will need to send a letter of withdrawal to other employers who are still considering your for employment.

CandidCareer Video Resources

CandidCareer offers honest career information with tips on how to get the most out of your interviews.

Virtual Interviewing 101

The Biggest Interview Mistakes

Juggling Job Offers



Center for Career and Professional Development
Staff directory

Physical Address:
Baker Pattillo Student Center
Room 3.302

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 6076, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962