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Eliminating Pre-Interview Nerves

You landed an interview - Congratulations! You tell your friends, call your folks, and maybe even share with a professor. You bask in the “what’s possible” for a while, but soon the “what’s imminent” sets in and you start to worry. …What will they ask me? …What will I say? …Will they like me?

Channel that nervous energy. Use it to prepare for the interview rather than fret about it. You can do a Google search to find advice ranging from getting enough rest, exercise, and proper diet to using imagery and power poses. All of that can be helpful, but the best use of your time and energy would be in preparation.

To prepare you with what to expect and how to respond to interviewers, ECS suggests using any/all of the resources below.

  • ECS Student Handbook – The section on interviewing, located on pp. 25 – 31, gives concrete examples of questions that may be asked with response methods and sample answers.
  • CareerEngine Document Library – Located in your CareerEngine account, this resource is found on the left sidebar. Find Resources>Document Library – keyword search “interview.” You will have access to handouts, worksheets, guides, and presentations that are all geared toward helping you sail through your interview.
  • ECS Job Blog – You are reading from it right now. Look for more articles/topics on the right sidebar. Pay special attention to Interviewing: Behavioral, Interviewing: General Advice, and perhaps Interviewing: Technical.
  • Workshops – ECS offers interview workshops during fall and spring. The times/dates change each term, so be sure to look on the website or in CareerEngine under “events.”
  • Big Interview – This is a third-party, online, mock-interview tool to which all ECS-registered students have access. You have the freedom to practice responding to questions (using your webcam) in the privacy of your home. Practice as many times as you like, and when/if you decide you are ready for feedback, submit a set to ECS for an advisor to review and comment. This is a particularly useful tool for students who have video/Skype interviews. You can find this link in your CareerEngine’s Shortcuts.
  • Mock Interviews – If you prefer face-to-face encounters, you can schedule to meet with an ECS staff member to participate in a one hour, in-person, mock interview. The first 30 minutes will be the interview, and the second 30 minutes will be used to provide feedback. Call us at 614‑292‑6651 to schedule a mock interview.
  • Career Advisors – Meet with one of our Career Advisors to ask specific questions not addressed in the resources above. Make a 30 minute appointment or stop by our office during walk-in hours.


Whether you use one or all seven of these suggestions, you are sure to feel more comfortable and prepared in your next interview. Use your energy to prepare in advance to help diminish nerves later.

“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” ― Albert Einstein

 

About the author

Laura Pizoli

Laura Pizoli is the Information Associate at Engineering Career Services.