Rules of Interviewing

Before stepping into an interview, be sure to practice, practice, practice. A job seeker going to a job interview without preparing is like an actor performing on opening night without rehearsing. To help with the interview process, keep the following ten rules in mind:​

Keep your answers brief and concise. Unless asked to give more detail, limit your answers to two to three minutes per question. Tape yourself and see how long it takes you to fully answer a question.

  1. Include concrete, quantifiable data. Interviewees tend to talk in generalities. Unfortunately, generalities often fail to convince interviewers that the applicant has assets. Include measurable information and provide details about specific accomplishments when discussing your strengths.
  2. Repeat your key strengths three times. It's essential that you comfortably and confidently articulate your strengths. Explain how the strengths relate to the company's or department's goals and how they might benefit the potential employer. If you repeat your strengths then they will be remembered and-if supported with quantifiable accomplishments, they will more likely be believed.
  3. Prepare five or more success stories. In preparing for interviews, make a list of your skills and key assets. Then reflect on past jobs and pick out one or two instances when you used those skills successfully.
  4. Image is often as important as content. What you look like and how you say something are just as important as what you say. Studies have shown that 65 percent of the conveyed message is nonverbal; gestures, physical appearance and attire are highly influential during job interviews.
  5. Ask questions. The types of questions you ask and the way you ask them can make a tremendous impression on the  interviewer. Good questions require advance preparation. Just as you plan how you would answer an interviewer's questions, write out specific questions you want to ask. Then look for opportunities to ask them during the interview. Don't ask about benefits or salary. The interview process is a two-way street whereby you and the interviewer assess each other to determine if there is an appropriate match.
  6. Maintain a conversational flow. By consciously maintaining a conversational flow-a dialogue instead of a monologue - you will be perceived more positively. Use feedback questions at the end of your answers and use body language and voice intonation to create a conversational interchange between you and the interviewer.
  7. Research the company, product lines, and competitors. Research will provide information to help you decide whether you're interested in the company and important data to which to refer to during the interview.
  8. Keep an interview journal. As soon as possible, write a brief summary of what happened. Note any follow-up action you should take and put it in your calendar. Review your presentation. Keep a journal of your attitude and the way you answered the questions. Did you ask questions to get the information you needed? What might you do differently next time? Prepare and send a brief, concise thank you letter. Restate your skills and stress what you can do for the company.

In Summary

Because of its importance, interviewing requires advance preparation. Only you will be able to positively affect the outcome. You must be able to compete successfully with the competition for the job you want. In order to do that, be certain you have considered the kind of job you want, why you want it, and how you qualify for it. You also must face reality: Is the job attainable?

In addition, recognize what employers want in their candidates. They want "can do" and "will do" employees. Recognize and use the following factors to your benefit as you develop your sales presentation. In evaluating candidates, employers consider the following factors:

  • Ability
  • Loyalty
  • Personality
  • Acceptance
  • Recommendations
  • Character
  •  Initiative
  • Communication skills
  • Work record
  • Outside activities while in school
  • Impressions made during the interview

The Scanner-Friendly Resume

When submitting your resume for employment, whether with a big corporation or a personnel search firm, the chances are growing that scanning technology will be used to read it. The technology responsible for computer-readable resumes operates on the principle of labeling. At the center of the technology are keywords. Call them buzzwords. Call them descriptors. Call them skill words, or job words. Call them whatever you like.

A sample job order might require:

  • Five years' experience as a salesperson
  • College graduate
  • A direct marketer to ethnic communities
  • Heavy traveler
  • Self-starter
  • Team leader

Supplied with these specifications, a computer checks a database for resumes that include these keywords. The secret is to fill your resume with as many labels as possible.

The ultimate keywords come from each employer for each position. You can only make reasonable assumptions about what a specific employer will ask for. You will need to maintain a log of keywords that apply to your occupation and industry. Jot down the words as you come across them in trade magazines, class notes, newspaper ads, etc.


  Banker  Civil Engineer       Compensation     Specialist
Booth Development

Image Campaign

Promotional Materials

Sales Promotion

Cable Television




Bank Reconciliation

Commercial Loan Operations

Customer Conversion



Concrete Design

Preliminary Stress Analysis

Hydrology Trans Analysis


Equity Review

Incentive Plan

Job Classification

Salary Structure


Computer Specialist Economist Real Estate Agent Statistician

Analog Computer






Industrial Policy

Minority Economic Impact


Commercial Leasing

Real Estate Appraisal


Standard Deviation

Stat Regression


Polishing Your Keyword Skills

Looking up information in the Yellow Pages or a library file uses the same skill necessary to write good keywords. Choose nouns that indicate your accomplishments rather than verbs that focus on duties.

Even a resume with very strong content, one which includes all of the keywords that describe your occupational credentials, can be overlooked. Consequently, the keywords in an electronic resume should be or organized into two sections. The first is a Keyword Preface; the second is the main body of the resume.

The Keyword Preface or Summary appears directly beneath your name and contact information at the top of your resume. It is an inventory of your most important assets. It runs about 20 to 30 items and each item is capitalized and ends with a period. Cover three points in selecting your items:

  • Your skills, abilities, and competencies;
  • Your experience using those skills, abilities, and competencies; and
  • Your accomplishments in using those skills, abilities, and competencies on-the-job.

A keyword summary for a programmer/ analyst might include the following: Oracle, Visual Basic, C++.

Marilyn Moats Kennedy, an author of career planning books and managing partner at Career Strategies, says: "It is important to alter your resume to fit a particular job. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they do not pick up on the keywords in job postings and advertisements and include them in their resumes." Also, electronically transmitted cover letters should also include keywords.

Checklist for Scannable Resumes

1. Choose the most likely keywords and arrange them in order of importance.

2. Choose the correct typefaces. To play it safe, stick to sans-serif fonts like Times New Roman.

3. Use a font size between 10 and 14 points.

4. Avoid italics, script, and underlined passages.

5. Avoid graphics and gray screens (shading).

6. Use horizontal and vertical lines sparingly and allow 1/4" of white space around them. Omit parentheses and brackets.

7. Use a 24-pin letter-quality or laser printer.

8. Use 8.5" x 11" white paper printed on one side only.

9. Avoid a four-page resume on a folded 11" x 17" sheet.

10. Put name at the top of the page and address and phone number below, each on its own line; put a name on top of page two.

11. Avoid stapling or folding resume. Send it flat in a large envelope.

12. Avoid two-column format or resumes that look like new papers or newsletters.

13. Don't condense spacing between letters.

14. The best paperweight for an electronic resume is copied grade (20-25 lb.)

15. Avoid boldface.  Capital letters can be substituted.

16. When faxing your resume, set the fax machine on "fine mode," rather than "standard mode."

Example of a Scanner-Friendly Resume


The Site Visit Interview: One Step Closer

While on-campus screening interviews are important, on site visits are where jobs are won or lost. After an on campus interview, strong candidates are usually invited to visit the employer's facility. Work with the employer to schedule the on-site visit at a mutually convenient time. Sometimes employers will try to arrange site visits for several candidates to take place at the same time, so there may not be much flexibility ... but you'll never know if the employer is flexible unless you ask.



  1. An invitation to an on-site interview, often referred to as the "plant trip," is NOT a guarantee of a job offer. It is a chance to examine whether or not you will be a good match for the job and for the organization.
  2. Notification of a plant trip may be by telephone or e-mail. Respond promptly if you are sincerely interested in this employer. Decline politely if you are not. Never go on a plant trip for the sake of the trip. Document the name and phone number of the person coordinating your trip. Verify who will be handling trip expenses. Most medium- and large-size companies (as well as many smaller ones) will pay your expenses, but others will not. This is very important, because expenses are handled in various ways:  1) the employer may handle all expenses and travel arrangements; 2) you handle your expenses and arrangements (the employer may assist with this), and the employer will reimburse you later; 3) the employer may offer an on-site interview, but will not pay for your interview.
  3. Know yourself and the type of job you are seeking with this employer. Don't say, "I am willing to consider anything you have."
  4. Thoroughly research the potential employer. Read company websites, annual reports, newspaper articles, trade journals, etc. Many companies have their own homepage where you can read its mission statement, find out about its long term goals, read recent press releases, and view corporate photos. Don't limit your research only to company-controlled information. The Internet can be a valuable investigative tool. You may uncover key information that may influence --positively or negatively--your decision to pursue employment with a given organization.
  5. Bring extra copies of your resume; copies of any paperwork you may have forwarded to the employer; names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of your references; an updated college transcript; a copy of your best paper as a writing sample; a notebook; a black and / or blue pen for filling out forms and applications; and names and addresses of past employers.
  6. Bring extra money and a change of clothes. Also, have the names and phone numbers of those who may be meeting you in case your plans change unexpectedly. Anything can happen and you need to be ready for emergencies.
  7. Your role at the interview is to respond to questions, to ask your own questions and to observe. Be ready to meet people who are not part of your formal agenda. Be courteous to everyone regardless of his or her position; you never know who might be watching you and your actions once you arrive in town.
  8. Don't forget your table manners. Plant trips may include several meals or attendance at a reception the night before your "big day". When ordering food at a restaurant, follow the lead of the employer host. For example, don't order the three-pound lobster if everyone else is having a more moderately priced entree. If you have the "dining jitters," some authorities suggest ordering food that is easy to handle, such as a boneless fish fillet or chicken breast.
  9. Many employers have a set salary range for entry-level positions and others are more negotiable. Though salary should not be brought up until an offer is extended, it is wise to know your worth in advance. Contact your campus career center to obtain more information on salaries. According to Jay Wheeler, manager of university relations and staffing for Halliburton, "Students have been working on perfecting their product for a number of years and should know what kind of product they've created and what the company is willing to buy."
  10. Soon after the site visit, record your impressions of your performance. Review the business cards of those you met or write the information in your notebook before leaving the facility. You should have the names, titles, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of everyone who was involved in your interview so you can determine which individuals you may want to contact with additional questions or follow-up information. A thank you letter should be written to the person(s) who will be making the hiring decision. Stay in touch with the employer if you want to pursue a career with them.


A site visit is a two-way street. You are there to evaluate the employer and to determine if your expectations are met for job content, company culture and values, organizational structure, and lifestyles (both at work and leisure). Take note of how the employees interact, and also assess the physical work environment.



Just as any good salesperson would never leave a customer without attempting to close the sale, you should never leave an interview without some sort of closure. If you decide that the job is right for you, don't be afraid to tell the employer that you feel that there is a good fit and you are eager to join their team. The employer is interested in hiring people who want to be associated with them and they will never know of your interest if you don't voice your opinion. Keep in mind that although the employer has the final power to offer a job, your demeanor during the entire interviewing process-both on and off campus-also gives you a great deal of power.




Tapping the Hidden Job Market

Your off-campus job search should neither begin nor end with jobs that are posted by employers. Studies have shown that only 15 percent of available jobs are ever advertised. It takes much more than merely perusing the classifieds. By employing a number of methods, you constantly increase your chances of landing a job. Some techniques you might use:




Probably the most effective way to meet potential employers and learn about possible jobs is to tap into your personal network of contacts. You might think it's early to have professional contacts, but think about everyone you know-family members and their friends/co-workers, professors, past employers, neighbors, and even your dentist. Don't be afraid to inform them of your career interests and let them know that you are looking for work. They will likely be happy to help you and refer you to any professionals they think can be of assistance. Be sure to have an up-to-date resume ready to share with contacts.


Informational Interviewing:


This approach allows you to learn more about your field by setting up interviews with professionals. The purpose of these interviews is to meet professionals, gather career information, investigate career options, get advice on job search techniques, and get referrals to other professionals. When setting up these interviews, whether by phone or email, make it clear to the employer that you have no job expectations and are seeking information only. Interviewing also familiarizes you to employers, and you may be remembered when a company has a vacant position.


Social Media


Increasingly, social media websites are used by job seekers and employers with available positions to make a job match. Many students are familiar with sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which are more personal in nature. We recommend that every job seeker take advantage of Linked, the fastest growing and most widely used social media site for professionals.

Temporary Work:


As more companies employ the services of temporary or contract workers, new graduates are discovering that such a move is a good opportunity to gain experience in their fields. Temporary workers can explore various jobs and get an inside look at different companies without the commitment of a permanent job. Also, if a company decides to make a position permanent, these "temps" already have made a good impression and often are given first consideration.


Online Job Search:

Most companies post their available positions online. It is recommended that you apply to positions you are interested in through company websites or job boards. Next follow up with the employer or contact to learn about the next steps in the hiring process. You can utilize your network of contacts or use social media to find the right contact. Remember, submitting your resume is only one step; follow-up & networking are just as important.


Persistence is the key to cracking the hidden job market. Additional strategies you can sue include attending meetings of professional associations and becoming an active member. After you begin the above processes, and your network base expands, your search will be made easier. Employers will appreciate your resourcefulness-and view you as a viable candidate.

Industrial Engineering

The Industrial Engineering program prepares students to apply problem-solving techniques in almost every kind of organization imaginable. Industrial Engineering graduates work in banks, hospitals/health facilities, government organizations, manufacturing, and service industries. A few examples of typical assignments for our graduates are optimizing the allocation of resources, developing new productivity techniques, establishing standards for different types of activities, designing and installing manufacturing systems, designing materials handling systems, and designing efficient operating techniques.





Related Career Titles for Industrial Engineering


College or University Professor

Computer Programmer


Design Engineer

Design/Construction Engineer

Engineering Manager

Financial Analyst

Hardware Engineer

High School Teacher

Human Factors Analyst

Human Resources Manager

Industrial Engineer

Maintenance Manager

Maintenance Supervisor

Management Trainee

Manufacturing Engineer

Market Researcher

MIS Manager

Occupational Safety and Health Engineer


Process Engineer

Production Engineer

Production Supervisor

Project Manager

Public Accountant

Quality Control Engineer

Research and Development Specialist

Safety Engineer

Safety Inspector

Software Engineer

System Analyst

Technical Trainer

Testing Engineer




Industries That Hire Industrial Engineering Majors

Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturers

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, & Hunting Organizations

Building, Developing, & General Contracting Services

Chemical Companies

Communication Services

Computer and Electronic Products Manufacturers

Computer Systems Design/Computer Consulting Consulting Services

Electrical Equipment, Appliance, & Component Manufacturing

Employment Services

Engineering Services

Financial Services

Federal Government

State and Local Government

Investigation & Security Services

Medical Equipment & Supplies Manufacturers

Metals Manufacturers

 Mining Services

Museums, Historical Sites, & Similar Institutions

Nonmetallic Mineral Products

Paper Manufacturing

Petroleum & Coal Products

Pharmaceutical Companies

Plastics & Rubber Products

Printing & Related Support Activities

Personal Care Products

Textile Mills

Transportation Services

Transportation Equipment


Wood Products

Wholesale Trade




Web Sites for Industrial Engineering Majors


Engineering Central: Jobs for Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers


Institute of Industrial Engineers


Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES)


Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences- (INFORMS)




Resources in the Career Resource Center




  • Job Choices for Science, Engineering, and Technology Students
  • VGM’s Handbook of Scientific and Technical Careers
  • Career Advancement and Survival for Engineers
  • Careers In Science and Engineering
  • Career Information Center: Engineering, Science, and Technology
  • Career Information Center: Employment Trends and Master Index
  • Green At Work
  • IEEE Marketing for Engineers
  • IEEE Writing for Career Growth
  • IEEE Presentations That Work
  • IEEE Building Internal Team Partnerships
  • IEEE Teaching on TV and Video
  • IEEE Starting a High Tech Company
  • IEEE High Tech Creativity
  • IEEE Working in a Global Environment
  • Environmental Jobs for Scientists and Engineers
  • The Complete Guide for Occupational Exploration
  • The O*Net Dictionary of Occupational Titles
  • College Majors and Careers
  • Job Opportunities in Engineering and Computer Science
  • Great Jobs for Engineering Majors


  • All Majors
  • Industrial Engineering

Industrial Design

    Industrial designers look for innovative and better ways to create and improve things, linking knowledge about technology and visual arts with knowledge of people.  It is the profession that determines the form of a manufactured product, shaping it to fit the people who use it and the industrial processes that produce it.  This creative activity adds both value and humanity to objects, processes, services and systems.

Related Career Titles

Industrial Designer

Multimedia Designer

Product Designer/Developer

Interface Designer/Developer

Exhibit Designer

Toy and Playground Equipment Designer

Equipment Designer

Business Developer

Electronic Product Designer

Furniture Designer

Retail/Sales Designer

Transportation Designer

Sporting Equipment and Apparel Designer

Point of Purchase and Package Designer

Manufacturing Process Designer

Information Communication Designer




Industries That Hire Industrial Design Majors

  • Architecture firms/Architectural services
  • Design firms
  • Multi-disciplinary design firms
  • Entertainment industry
  • Automotive industry
  • Consumer products and pharmaceutical industry
  • Museums
  • Military service
  • Engineering firms
  • Scientific Research and Development Services
  • Healthcare & Social Assistance
  • Product Design Firms
  • Product Manufacturers

*Industrial Design is excellent training for someone who might want to get into patent law by pursing a J.D. degree and is also good for the pursuit of the MBA degree.

Web Sites for Industrial Design Majors

The Industrial Designers Society of America 

Fashion Net  

Society of Manufacturing Engineers 

Society of Plastic Industries 

FDA Device Advice 


Career Resources

Students engaged with CDS programs will be among the best-prepared and most competitive graduates entering the workforce. CDS provides the resources and tools for students and alumni to succeed including job search tools, job search tutorials, podcasts, and videos. The topics include resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, networking, and job search strategies.

CDS has also subscribed to a variety of online resources to assist students through all stages of their career and job search. These resources include GoingGlobal, a resource for employment information; CareerShift, a program that helps students with organizing a complete job search plan; and OneWire, geared especially for students seeking careers in finance on Wall Street. In addition, students and alumni can follow CDS on many social networking sites including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for career information and updates about events and programs.

Job Search Tools


Job Search Tutorials



Informational Interviews

One of the easiest and most effective ways to meet people in a professional field in which you are interested is to conduct informational interviews. Informational interviewing is a networking approach which allows you to meet key professionals, gather career information, investigate career options, get advice on job search techniques and get referrals to other professionals.


The art to informational interviewing is in knowing how to balance your hidden agenda (to locate a job) with the unique opportunity to learn firsthand about the demands of your field. Thus, never abuse your privilege by asking for a job, but execute your informational interviews skillfully and and a job may follow.


What motivates professionals to grant informational interviews?


The reasons are varied. Most people enjoy sharing information about themselves and their jobs and particularly, love giving advice. Some may simply believe in encouraging newcomers to their profession and others may be scoping out prospects for anticipated vacancies. It is common for professionals to exchange favors and information, so don't hesitate to call upon people.


How do you set up informational interviews?


One possible approach is to send a letter or email requesting a brief informational interview (clearly indicating the purpose of the meeting, and communicating the fact that there is no job expectation). Follow this up with a phone call to schedule an appointment. Or, initiate a contact by making cold calls and setting up an appointment. The best way to obtain an informational interview is by being referred from one professional to another, a process which becomes easier as your network expands.


How do you prepare for informational interviews?


Prepare for your informational interviews just as you would for an actual job interview: polish your presentation and listening skills, and conduct preliminary research on the organization. You should outline an agenda that includes well thought-out questions.


Begin your interview with questions that demonstrate your genuine interest in the other person, such as, "Describe a typical day in your department." Then proceed with more general questions such as, "What are the employment prospects in this field?" or "Are you active in any professional organizations in our field and which ones would you recommend?" If appropriate, venture into a series of questions which place the employer in the advice-giving role, such as, "What should the most important consideration be in my first job?" The whole idea is for you to shine, to make an impression, and to get referrals to other professionals.


Always remember to send a thank you letter to every person who grants you time and to every individual who refers you to someone.

Interior Design

    Interior Design involves the design, construction and manipulation of spaces and finishes in buildings: from hospitals, nightclubs, offices, theaters, airports to residential interiors, as well as furniture and fittings.

Related Career Titles 

Some careers may require additional education or experience
Interior Designer (commercial and residential)

Transportation Interior Designer (yachts, cruise ships, trains)

Design Consultant

Furniture Designer

Lighting Designer

3D Computer Graphic Artist

Exhibit Designer

Historic Preservationist

Home Furnishings Coordinator

Lighting Consultant

Developing Model Designer

Packaging Designer

Space Planner

Point of Purchase Display Designer

Theater and Set Designer

Building Equipment and Furnishings Marketing Consultant

Textile Designer

Retail Furniture Sales

Contract Furniture and Equipment Sales

Manufacturer’s Representative to Building industry

Advertising/ Marketing Director

*Interior Design is excellent training for pursuit of architecture at the graduate level (M.Arch.)

Related Web Sites

International Interior Design Association 

Interior Designers Worldwide   

American Design Drafting Association





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