Skip to main content

System Status: 

How to Do Well in an Interview

Good preparation, interviewing skills, and follow-through provide candidates with a competitive edge when seeking employment.


  • Research the position and the organization's structure, purpose, culture, and reputation. Use the Web to:
    • Check a listing of campus departments and programs to learn more about the employer/ department.
    • Find out what the department does.
    • Seek an organizational chart.
    • Discover the mission and vision of the organization.
    • Find out what types of employees the organization hires.
  • Anticipate questions that might be asked. Typically, employers want to know:
    • Why you applied for this position, rather than another opening with a different company.
    • The skill set that you can offer the position and organization.
    • The kind of person you are in terms of values, work style, and personality.
    • What distinguishes you from others; what makes you unique.
  • Bring appropriate materials (extra resumes, reference information, and work samples).
  • Be prepared to ask about major challenges, priorities, and future goals for the position and organization.  Some sample questions to ask the potential employer are:
    • What are the main priorities in this position?
    • What capabilities do you feel are most important in the person you will hire?
    • What would you consider to be the career path for someone in this position?
    • What objective would I be expected to meet in the next 30/ 60/ 90 days?


  • Dress appropriately. Keep it classic and simple.
  • Be aware of your body language and attitude. Make good eye contact, smile, and use a firm handshake.
  • Be prompt; arrive 10 minutes before your appointment. You can view a campus map to direct you to parking lots and the location of the interview (you can also get details about parking permits). Once on campus, you can stop by any of the kiosks for information and directions.


  • Let your references know that they may be contacted by UCSD.
  • Send a thank you note that includes a "soft" recap of your qualifications.
Contact Talent Acquisition at (858) 534-6333 or
Notice: The information on this page summarizes provisions of university policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. Refer to the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) and local implementing procedures or applicable collective bargaining agreement for full text of referenced information.