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Welcome to Principia College's Career Center - Where We Help You Design a Life You Love



Different Types of Interviewing


Informational Interviewing

An informational interview is a networking opportunity to get advice and information from an expert in your area of interest. It is not a job interview, and you do not ask for a job. Instead, ask them to share their unique insights or experiences and provide guidance. Check out this great video series on how to approach informational interviews. 


Job Screening Interviews

Frequently, the first step in the formal interviewing process is a "screening" interview, often conducted by Human Resources. These usually are held by telephone or Skype. The purpose is to make certain you meet the basic job requirements and seem like a reasonable candidate to invite to a personal interview.

Be open, friendly, and honest. In your discussion, keep on target in letting them know how you meet their needs. A hiring decision is rarely made at this stage, so your objective is to avoid being eliminated. Email us at for tips on how to prepare!

Phone Interviews, Zoom, and In-Person Interviews

This usually is your first, face-to-face meeting with a prospective employer.

  1. Do your homework before your interview. Check out the organization’s website and other literature. Know the basics of their operations and be ready to ask intelligent questions. Make sure you know how to pronounce names and key business terms correctly!
  2. Prepare for typical questions
    • Check with us for how to find questions you might be asked. Practice your answers in advance!
    • Be sure you have a couple "success stories" from previous work or academic situations to illustrate your talents and strengths.
    • Plus, have some good questions ready to ask them.
  3. Confirm your appointment the day before
  4. Check your personal appearance before you go into any interview
    • Clothing: Find out what is appropriate for each interview (the company HR department will be happy to tell you), then dress one step up. Depending on the field of work you are entering, dress can vary.
    • Hair: Trimmed, clean, no excessive styles. Beards and mustaches are not recommended.
    • Jewelry: Keep it very simple. Nothing that jingles or jangles. Except for earrings on women, leave the piercings at home.
    • No perfume, cologne, excessive make-up, etc.
  5. Write professional thank you notes and send immediately!
    • E-mail first, followed by a handwritten note to everyone you spoke with in the interview.
    • Be sure to mention something discussed in the interview.

Follow-Up Interviews

There may be several follow-up interviews. This is an opportunity to further demonstrate how you can contribute to the employer's success -- to express, not impress. You also need to be prepared to negotiate, if you're offered the position.