Interview & Negotiate

Download the Interview & Negotiate Action Plan


Develop your action plan to prepare for each interview
Research – Create a list of questions you believe you may be asked, then develop answers to those potential questions
Inquire and Interview – Conduct information interviews  or chat with people from the organization or industry you are pursuing (2-Hour Job Search)
Value Proposition – Who are you and what will you bring to the organization? Practice sharing it using various scenarios, this is a branding opportunity!
Experience – Practice to get comfortable with the process.  Practice with coaches, friends, family and use InterviewStream.  Practice, Practice, Practice!

3 Parts of the Interview

Preparation (Before interview):

What key messages do we want to communicate?
What questions will most likely be asked?
Practice bridging on difficult questions
Check the web to find the latest news stories and related issues

During interview:

Be friendly and courteous with positive energy
Provide your opening positioning statement (i.e. your branding speech or pitch)
Bridge to key messages when appropriate. (include your overall message)
Remember to summarize or bring up additional information on the last question (i.e. “close the sale” – let them know you really want the position)

After the interview:

Follow through on commitments to provide additional information
Follow up on areas where you were not the expert or did not provide a strong answer
Send thank you notes

Types of Interviews & Common Interview Situations

Evaluative interviews – questions are asked about education, work/related experiences and career interests
-Typical question might be – Tell me about yourself, or describe your analytical skills

Behavioral interviews – past performance predicts future performance.  Candidates need to have specific examples to use – using Situation/Action/Result format – called SAR (there will be more on this later)
– Typical question might be – Tell me about a time when you were working on a team and everyone wanted to go in a different direction

Informational Interviews – Students or others curious to learn about various roles and functions – reach out to those with experience in these areas to gather insights
-Typical question might be – What were some of the main decision points in your career that caused you to land in the role you currently have?  What education did you obtain in order to prepare yourself for this?

Case Interviews: Widely used and growing.  The interviewer will present you with an open-ended business problem or issue and ask you to discuss it or solve the problem.  Recruiters use case interviews to measure your thought process and how you analyze complex business problems.  The case interview is an interactive process.  Your job is to ask the interviewer logical questions that will enable you to make a recommendation that solves the case.  There is no right or wrong answer.  The interviewer is trying to assess your thought process and determine if it is analytical and creative.


Be sure to use all of the resources available.  Check out various company list by Fast Company, Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, and Vault Guides.  Gelman Library is another great resource.  If you have any trouble coming up with a target company list take a look at the LAMP list process in The 2-Hour Job Search

The Case Interview

How to prepare for the case interview:

  • Read case prep books and do examples provided – such as “Crack the Case”
  • Go to company websites and look at cases provided there
  • FDFCC website – to find practice cases
  • Practice cases – alone and with friends and coaches
  • Attend case workshops – GW or Consulting Club sponsored
  • Attend case prep sessions sponsored by firms or companies, such as Deloitte
  • Compete in competitions – better yet take the lead on forming a team and then compete


Question:  If your upcoming conversation could positively or negatively impact your career and your earnings for the rest of your working life, how extensively would you prepare and how much emphasis would you put on negotiating?  Consider that question carefully – it is the value of negotiation.  The rest of the salary offers you receive – as long as you are “employed” will likely be calculated based upon the next salary you negotiate.

Plan your approach

Let’s delve a bit deeper into the steps in order to help plan your approach.  Throughout the process, remember to consider the employer’s thought process as well as your own

1.  Determine your goals – what matters to you (elaborate and get an alum or two to speak on this)
2.  Determine market value – how much are you worth?
* Review data on comparable salaries for position you are seeking (use Glass Door,, etc. list others).
*Create your own value proposition and estimate – based upon your research, background and previous salaries.  Know what you need and have this in mind from “Jump Street.”
3.  Weigh tradeoffs – what’s flexible and what isn’t?
*List some of the items that might be easily overlooked – such as tuition reimbursement, signing bonus, etc.
4. Communicate
*Know the company and culture in order to determine how best to start the discussion.
*Be positive and friendly throughout the process- remember the end goal.