Coming out of college, I was aware of the importance of a strong resume, being able to write a cover letter, and getting myself to job fairs in order to land a position. But, I didn’t realize—until much later on—how important the job interview was to securing a job or internship.
The days before the interview quickly approached and as the date got closer and closer, my anxiety about it increased incrementally. It wasn’t before long that I realized I had no idea what they were going to ask, what I was going to say, and I was completely unaware of other important aspects regarding professionalism and decorum. But, whatever, I just give it a shot.
A few questions in to the interview, I’m sure the hiring mangers knew that I hadn’t prepared at all for it. I was nervous and remember having difficulty shifting my attention from one person to another (there were actually three people interviewing me, instead of one). My answers were cursory and lacked context. Even the classic “tell me about yourself” question blindsided me because at this point, I didn’t really know who I was as a working professional early in my career. I remember the sinking feeling as I left: I just couldn’t fake my way through a full-time job interview like I had for previous part-time roles.
Interviewing, while an uncomfortable process for many, is just as important as your resume, cover letter, and arguably your portfolio. Many people have the skills you have, but can they prove they’re someone that hiring managers want to work with every day? For many reasons, students quickly overlook interviews as something they can just waltz through prior to starting the job, but that’s simply not the case. You need to prepare.
Given the importance of interviewing, and also the rise in video interviews via Skype, the Career Center has a new online interviewing tool called Big Interview that is free and easy for you to use. With Big Interview, you can gain valuable information regarding interview strategies through lessons, or if you’re ready to jump right in, you can practice online interviewing based on the industry of your choice. Videos are privately saved for you, but we welcome you to share your private links with your instructors, colleagues, or Career Center staff to gain valuable feedback before you’re ready to interview in real life!
Going into an interview prepared greatly reduces anxiety and increases confidence. While you can’t predict how questions are going to be asked verbatim, having solid talking points and remembering the CAR method (what was the Context of what I’m talking about, what Actions did I take, and what was the Result) will allow you to address the questions interviewers are likely to ask and get your first post-college job offer!
If you have further questions about Big Interview, please contact the Career Center. Alternatively, we offer in-person mock interviews for more direct interviewing support. Make an appointment on Handshake to set-up a mock interview with us.