BLOG: I Got the Interview! Now What?

Toni Ripo, the Director of Career Services at USF Sarasota-Manatee, will periodically post blogs about tips for finding the perfect careeer. From the job search process, to the interview to resume building tips, Toni has you covered.

Toni Ripo

A good question to ask while scheduling the interview appointment is – what is the interview process?   Each organization conducts the interview differently.  When you receive the initial phone call, you should ask questions that will help you to prepare for the interview. But first, what if you receive the phone call when you are out with friends or via Bluetooth in your car? You can share with the caller that you would like to give him/her your undivided attention and ask if you can call back in five minutes.  This would give you time to excuse yourself from friends and go to a quiet place with pen and pad in hand or pull over.  Ask for the address, directions, the closest major intersection and landmarks. If at all possible, drive to the location prior to the interview to avoid the stress of being lost and running late.  Being on time and prepared sends a message that you are respectful of their time and your time.  It begins to set the tone as to what they can expect in your job performance. Other questions to help prepare you for the interview appointment are:

  • Could you please share with me the names and the job titles of those who will be conducting the interview?
  • How much time should I plan for the interview?
  • Will I be tested on any skills at this time?
  • When do you expect to make a final hiring decision?

Some organizations can make a decision to hire that day.  If that is the case, you need to be ready to negotiate the salary.  Other organizations can take weeks to months to make a decision.  They may have a series of interviews that escalate from a phone/pre-screening interview to a committee interview to a performance interview.  A performance interview may require you to take a test to demonstrate your skills, make a presentation, role play or participate on a team project to determine if you really do have the skills you say you have.  Knowing their process and timeframe will help you to be more effective in preparing for the interview and managing job offers.  Should you schedule an interview and decide not to go, it is very important you make a courtesy phone call to inform the interviewer.  Express your appreciation of their consideration of you and share your regrets in that you are moving in a different direction.  Wish the employer the best of success in filling their positions.

If you follow these tips and trust yourself, you are bound to have a successful interview!

For more tips on finding the perfect career for you, or for information on Career Services, please contact Toni Rip at