On-Campus Interviewing: Strategies for Success

Article excerpt

The most challenging part of your job search is the interviewing. How you approach the interviewing process determines the level of success you can expect to have. An effective job search requires a strategic plan and some luck, being at the right place at the right time. Strategic job-search planning helps you to establish behavior on your part and it will help you to reach your short-term goals. On-campus interviewing is a time when the students and employers come together through career fairs and on-line interviewing for the entry-level jobs and internships. You must research the company that best matches your qualifications, and you must cover all aspects thoroughly because employers are able to sense how prepared you are. Your knowledge of the organization is a good indicator to the employer of your level of interest. In the interviewing process, you will make many contacts; therefore, you must not lose precious time by not showing up at an interview. Make every interview count and practice answering the general questions.

Self-Assessment

Planning for the job interview starts with self-assessment, an exploration of goals, interests and personal characteristics. If you begin planning for the interview as a senior, you have wasted valuable time, but if you have held internship positions, held leadership positions in student organizations or jobs throughout your matriculation, you have garnered experience in interviewing and work, and these skills can work for you.

Planning for the job interview starts an exploration of your goals, interests, and personal characteristics. The career portfolio is one way of collecting, analyzing and evaluating information about you. It is used to keep track of your accomplishments. Having managed a career portfolio during your matriculation in college helps you to be aware of your weaknesses and your strengths. If you do not know where to start, take some of the on-line interest inventories like Discover and the Strong Interests Inventories. These inventories can help you to determine whether you have the characteristics and the skills that will help you to be successful in your chosen field of study. You have to compare your goals with those of the organization, and since people hire people, you have to convince a recruiter that you are the best fit for the job. A job search includes resume preparation, a cover letter, negotiations, and matching job requirements with your abilities. It is not enough to start with understanding yourself; you must also understand the world of work. You have to ask yourself these questions:

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What do I want to do?

What are my interests?

What are my academic skills?

What are my transferable skills?

Do I have good communication skills?

If you take the Discover inventory and print out the report, based on your answers from the interest inventory, you can actually develop a job hunting/interviewing plan. There are a number of competencies that are sought by most employers and most job descriptions describe these competencies. The skills you gained through part-time work, organization participation, internships, and extracurricular activities may be transferred to most jobs. Skills such as speaking, writing, listening, and operation of computers and other equipment are transferable.

The Resume

The most important document of your interviewing process is the resume. Your career center offers workshops and seminars on resume writing and interviewing. You may have one of the counselors critique your resume. Your mistake-free resume is a part of the on-campus recruitment process. When you register for interviews, you will have to put your resume on the e-recruiting system. It is this system that employers use to invite you for an interview. In addition to the seminars, company representatives conduct mock interviews for students. …