Interviews and networking
What is the best way to learn about an occupation?
Talk to as many people as you can who work in that field!
Interviewing yourself into a career
Six steps to landing an interview
- Step 1: Conduct informational interviews or job shadows to find out about a career field or specific type of job.
- Step 2: Prepare by researching the company/organization and practicing how to present yourself successfully.
- Step 3: Prepare for different types of interviews.
- Step 4: Practice answering typical questions employers ask and be prepared to ask them questions.
- Step 5: Meet with a career counselor at Career Services to participate in a mock interview.
- Step 6: Determine appropriate attire to get you hired.
Ready Prep Interview
Print out all the interview questions for the position you are seeking. Answer every question to the best of your ability and then decide which answers are the most compelling and therefore should be included on your resume. The questions at the top are more important to the employer than the ones at the bottom, so spend your time accordingly. (click here)
The Art of Successful Interviewing
- Prepare and practice are the keys!
- Assess your skills and experience. State how your unique qualifications match the career or specific position you seek.
- Conduct informational interviewsbefore your job search.
- Participate in mock interviews. Practice interviews with Career Services staff or with career professionals / mentors willing to volunteer their time.
- Prepare to tell your story. It can be helpful to use the STAR METHOD. Explain a past Situation, your Task or role, the Action you took, andthe Results of your action.
- Practice telling the stories: Once you have six to eight experiences, practice telling them to Career Services staff or a friend. Besides experience, choose three or four skill areas and focus on these during the interview.
It Starts With First Impressions
Any time you interact with a potential employer, whether it is conducting research on the company, inquiring about job openings, picking up a job application, or visiting the business as a customer, imagine yourself being evaluated by those who you contact. Always be positive, upbeat and professional when corresponding in person, by mail, phone or email. Always be respectable in the way you dress and the way you act. First impressions are usually lasting ones.
Even though being invited to a job interview is certainly exciting, more preparation is needed. The following steps are keys to landing the job.
- Continue researching the organization through its marketing literature and / or its website.
- Make sure you know the location of its offices or stores, especially the location where you are to be interviewed.
- Plan ahead by making sure the clothes you plan to wear are fresh, clean and pressed, that you are well-rested and properly groomed.
- When you arrive at an office for an interview, introduce yourself and tell the receptionist you have an appointment for an interview.
- Greet your interviewer by name, shake hands and introduce yourself.
- Many employers and recruiters begin interviews with small talk. Topics can range from the weather to sports and will rarely focus on anything that directly draws out your skills. Nonetheless, you are still being evaluated.
Why Consider Graduate School
The strongest reason for attending graduate school is for professional advancement or development. Graduate school is generally for people who wish to specialize in a particular field or who wish to teach or do research. Those considering graduate school should focus specifically on what they hope to accomplish by obtaining an advance degree.
You Didn't Get an Offer ... Now What?
Everyone faces rejection at some time or another in their search for employment. Rejection can take place at several steps in the job search process.
Not getting an interview
Despite the fact that some position receive hundreds of applicants and employers can only choose a few candidates to interview, not getting invited to interview can be disheartening to a student. That's why it's important to remember that the job is a numbers game. You can play the numbers game by applying for lots of jobs, which may result in more potential opportunities to interview. But it is more practical and more important to apply for the right kinds of jobs, ones that match your interests, skills and experience.
Not landing an offer after an interview
This type of rejection can cut deep because you may feel you were so close. As tough as it may be, it's important to keep a positive attitude. Review "The Art of Successful Interviewing" in this guidebook, or visit with the Career Services staff to help you evaluate unsuccessful interview experiences and how you might improve your chances in the next interview.
Not being extended an offer to return after an internship or a work experience
Students must remember that no experience is wasted. Whether you enjoyed the job or not you will have learned something not only about the job, but also about yourself. Take that experience and use it to your advantage in your next job.