The Do’s and Don’ts of the Interview Process

So last week I made my way to Syracuse for an interview with a director of one of the Newhouse School graduate programs at Syracuse University. For those who aren’t familiar with Newhouse, it’s a school of communications that incorporates all types of media related learning. Held in similar regard to Oswego’s School of Business; Newhouse School the place to be for students serious about the future of media.

Through talking with my professors, my advisers, and friendly faculty, I’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for any important interview. As many people have told me throughout my life, a strong first impression can hold limitless possibilities. There’s no reason to throw that away on not being prepared.


-Make sure you have a portfolio that showcases your talent. Whether it is drawings, lesson plans, business proposals, or articles, make sure you have something that shows you can produce quality work.

-Research the position or program you’re trying to get into. If it shows you know what they’re talking about when they explain the program or position to you, it shows your dedication to what you’re trying to obtain and could give you a little advantage.

-Dress appropriately for the interview. That doesn’t mean wear a three-piece suit, but kakis or dress pants, button-up shirts, and a tie shows off your professional side. It also adds some seriousness to the interview and shows your interest.

-Be on-time. Usually for important interviews, if you’re just in time for your name to be called, you’re late. Give yourself ample time to get there also. Traffic and parking should never be an excuse.

-Keep good eye contact. There’s no need to make sure your eyes are completely glued to the interviewer since they might catch a creepy vibe from it, but make sure it seems than you’re interested in the conversation.

-Smile. Don’t make the interview process seem painstaking. Keep a good conversational tone, but still keep that professionalism that shows you’re serious about the interview.

-It’s helpful to have a list of questions for the interviewer. It further shows your interest and helps you get a better understanding of some things you may have been uncertain about.

-Be honest. Nobody likes a liar. It’s better to tell the interviewer you aren’t familiar with something than to lie and risk getting caught and embarrassed.

-Be yourself. Everyone has a personal trait that sets them apart from others. If it’s a positive trait, try to show it off a bit.

-Relax. Go with the flow of the interview. Don’t try to rush through anything.


Hopefully these tips can help you as much as they’ve helped me in my life thus far.

Good luck to my fellow SUNY Oswego 2010 graduates. Let’s finish out this semester strong and in one piece!

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