Employer on-campus interviewing feedback
by Laura Little | April 18, 2014
As generally the last person to talk to recruiters after they finish a day of on-campus recruiting at ECS, I hear a lot of feedback about our students. Most of it is positive; I often have recruiters tell me how refreshing it is to interview so many great candidates in one day. However, I also hear about it when students don’t exactly meet their expectations. Here are a few of the most common recruiter complaints—and what to do to avoid these mistakes!
- Wear proper interview attire!
I cannot stress this enough! First impressions are absolutely critical. If not explicitly stated by the interviewer in advance, formal interview attire is expected every time. I’ve had recruiters tell me that a candidate had great credentials but that the casual dress made them reconsider. Formal interview attire may seem a hassle when you are also have class and other activities on the same day—but being overdressed for class is a small price to pay for a great job. Taking time with your appearance communicates to the employer that you are a professional and that you care about their opinion. And while I consider it part of my job to make sure you don’t go into an interview with your tie crooked or toilet paper on your shoe, I can’t catch everything. Get to the interview early so you can take a moment to look in a mirror and straighten everything out! Check out the ECS Blog (click the “Attire” category) for more advice on this topic.
- Do your research!
Possibly the most common feedback recruiters put on their evaluation forms is this: “[the student] needed to ask more questions about the position and the company”. What they are really saying is that you did not demonstrate enough knowledge of the position and/or the company to ask intelligent questions. No job description or website can answer everything you need to know about a potential position or employer. By carefully researching the company and thoroughly reading the position posting, you can discover places that you can ask for more information. This allows you demonstrates to the employer that a) you are interested enough in the position/company to take the time to learn about it and that b) you know exactly how and why your talents are a perfect fit. Also, being absolutely familiar with the position description and company material also ensures that you don’t ask a question that you could have answered by reading the job postings!
- Know your resume and be prepared to provide details!
On the same note, make sure that you know your resume forwards and backwards! You shouldn’t have to refer to your resume to answer questions about your own experience and qualifications. The recruiter has read your resume, they know what’s there—they want to know the details that the resume doesn’t tell them. Recruiters are often frustrated by students who can’t relate details of their experience in a way that shows how that experience is applicable to the job for which they’re interviewing. Situation – Task – Action – Result: the STAR format. If you are unfamiliar with the STAR format, see your ECS Student Handbook or make an appointment with an ECS advisor for help!
Interviewing is tough, there’s no denying it. But with practice and preparation, you can soon become a pro. Your dream job is out there waiting for you—don’t let easily corrected mistakes stand in your way!
“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”
-Robert H. Schuller