Blog Archive

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Campus Interview - Are You "Interview" Ready?

Today's post comes from Trina Moody, McGladrey's Western Region Campus Recruiting Lead, who provides some great advice on how to prepare for an interview. Trina is based out of our Dallas, TX location, and can be found this fall actively recruiting at campuses including the Univ. of North Texas, Texas Christian Univ., Southern Methodist Univ., and the Univ. of Texas at Dallas.

Interviewing for an internship or full time employment opportunity does not have to be a scary process! Think of it as conversation between you and a representative of the firm, where the purpose of the meeting is to decide if there is a fit between what you’re looking for and what the firm has to offer. Here are a few tips on what you can do to prepare for “Interview Day.”

Tip #1) Research the organization: It is important for you to do your homework—learn as much as you can about the firm (s) that you are interviewing with. Speaking with your professors and peers about the firms that you’re interested in, is a great starting point; however, take it to the next level-do internet research. Look at the firms’ websites, company literature, different news articles that feature them, blogs, Twitter—most firms are even on Facebook as well! You’ll learn more than you think!

Tip #2) Be aware of what behavioral interviewing is: Behavioral Interviewing is one of the most popular techniques of interviewing used during campus recruiting. It focuses on the belief that the best predictor of future performance is past performance. So, what does this mean for you? Be ready to reference personal situations, in your past, that positively highlight how you’ve dealt with different situations (obstacles, working with difficult team members).

Tip #3) Dress to Impress: Remember that you only have once chance to make a first impression and when in doubt, dress above the standard. Be sure to know the difference between business professional (suits, skirts, tie, and etc.) and business casual (collared shirt, knee length dresses, polo shirts, and etc.) Leave flashy jewelry and strong scents at home.

Tip #4) Follow up: Make sure you leave your interview with the name of your interviewer and the address where he/she can be contacted. Write a brief thank-you note on a note card, or type a brief letter. (In this day and age, e-mail thanks are gaining acceptance, as well, but the ‘hard copy’ approach is still preferred.) Use this opportunity to thank your interviewer for his/her time and remind him/her of your strengths and what you bring to the table.

Once again, interviewing does not have to be a scary process. Implementing a few of these tips, will help make sure that you’re ready. We hope you find these tips helpful, as you embark upon your interviewing process!


Anonymous said...

Tip #3 says, "Dress to Impress: Remember that you only have once change to make a first impression"
Perhaps you meant to say, "you have only one chance" instead. Hope that helps!

Ben said...

guitarmanvt - Thanks for letting us know, it's one of those things that Spell Check doesn't catch.