During the Interview

The Interview Format

Most interviews have three parts:

  1. rapport-building
  2. information-exchange
  3. conclusion


The rapport-building stage is your opportunity to "break the ice" by discussing subjects often unrelated to the position such as the weather, traffic, or a hobby listed on your resume. Be aware that first impressions are formulated at this point. Make a good impression with your:

  • Professional dress and demeanor (smile!)
  • Positive body language (firm hand shake)
  • Communication style (listen closely and speak clearly)
  • Self-confidence
  • Positive attitude—if traffic was bad, don't discuss it—focus on positive things

Information Exchange

The information-exchange stage encompasses two segments.

First, employer probes to obtain information about you. This is your opportunity to market your strengths and background as they relate to the position.

Second, the employer provides information about the organization and position.  Listen well, ask relevant questions, and respond appropriately.  Now is your time to use the questions your prepared ahead of time for the employer.


The conclusion stage of the interview allows you to clarify important points, summarize your qualifications, reiterate your interest in the position, and articulate the major reasons why you are the best applicant. It's also your opportunity to obtain a business card (for following up and developing thank you letters).