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Interview Preparation

Interview Preparation & Resources

Interviews are beneficial to both applicants and employers as this is the time where you both have the opportunity to exchange information for a potential professional relationship. At the interview, you should highlight reasons why you would be the best fit for the position by relating your strengths, skills and past accomplishments to the job.

Here at the Career Center we provide assistance to help you prepare for an interview. Start your preparation today by taking these steps:

  1. Review the Career Center Interview Guide to learn more about interviewing and how to prepare.
  2. Come to the Career Center during Drop-in hours for general interview questions.
  3. Set up an appointment with a Career Advisor for a mock interview and to build interview skills.
  4. Develop your interview skills and learn best interview practices using the Career Center's new interview practice online platform Big Interview (see below to learn more).


BIg Interview Logo

What is Big Interview?

When preparing for an interview, it's not enough to only read advice - you need to put that advice into practice! That's why Big Interview isn't just a training course. You'll also get hands-on practice with mock interviews tailored to your specific industry, job and experience level. Use Big Interview to learn and practice your interview skills, whether you’re interviewing for a job, internship or graduate school.


To learn more check out this informational handout!

To get started, register for your account using your CSUSB email address. For example, (for students) or (for staff and faculty).

Big Interview Registration

Already registered? Proceed to sign into your account.

Technical support for registration:

Other Helpful Information

Salary Negotiation Strategies

Questions to ask when negotiating your job offer

  • What are your top 3 negotiable items from the list below? Whatever these are for you, you should create questions referring to these. Please note, this list does not include all negotiable items.
Negotiable Items
Negotiable Items choices options
Base salary or stock options Flexible scheduling Start date/vacation days
Relocation allowance Membership dues Cell phone provisions
Position title Vacation time Tuition reimbursement

Top mistakes

  • Accepting an offered salary without negotiating.
  • Revealing the amount that you would accept.
  • Not asking for the final offer to be in writing.
  • Focusing on need and greed rather than personal value.


How do I answer tough questions? For example, “What is your desired salary?” 

  • First possible answer, “I am flexible and open to discuss a reasonable compensation package, but my salary has been between X and Y.” 
  • Second possible answer, “Before I offer you my salary range, can you tell me more about the responsibilities and goals?” 

Know when to accept an offer

  • Know when to stop the negotiation.
    • Eventually, there comes a point in every negotiation when you have achieved everything that you possibly can.
  • The result of a negotiation should be achieving a win/win. 
    • Do not be greedy or unreasonable with your expectations. 
  • Either accept the final offer or deny it.

Additional Resources

Under construction.

Why should you negotiate your salary?

  • The employer probably expects you to negotiate. 
  • Negotiating will improve your life.
    • According to The Washington Post, “48% [of applicants] didn’t bother to try to negotiate.” Meanwhile, “those who negotiated tended to be rewarded—they got 7.4% more, on average—compared with those who did not negotiate.”

Know your value

  • An offer is not just about salary, but it is also about what you value in a position. What are your top 5 values from the values list below? 
Values List
Values Qualities Ideals
Benefits Competition Flexibility
Helping others Independence Location
Low stress level Making decisions Mental stimulation
Physical work environment Prestige Recognition
Responsibility Salary Stability
Supervisory style Teamwork Opportunities to advance
  • Your opinion matters! 
    • Although you cannot negotiate until an offer is made, it is important to remember that salaries depend on a number of factors: Size of employers, where the company is located, your professional experience, your level of education, particular skills you bring to the job. 
  • What is your market value? Become familiar with salaries and the negotiating climate with the following resources: 
Salary Resources
Salary Negotiating Climate Sites Job Sites