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Interviewing: General Advice

Be Prepared for Interview Emergencies

Today's blog is written by ECS graduate advisor, Tara McCarron...

Interviews are an opportunity to put your best foot forward and make a positive first impression on a company you hope to work for. Part of making a positive first impression includes presenting a polished appearance with appropriate attire. I recommend putting together an “Interview Emergency Kit” to help you overcome potential wardrobe malfunctions.

What to include:

 


  • A small shoe shine and repair kit…it’s so easy to scuff your shoes walking up or down stairs. Nasty weather could muck up your shoes too.

  • A sewing kit…in case you lose a button.

  • A few safety pins and some mending tape…if you are not sure what mending tape is, it’s similar to two-sided tape. It works great in holding up hems that have come down or sleeves that are too long. The sleeve can be folded under and mending tape can … 
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Importance of research before an interview

“So, can you tell me what attracted you to our company?”

Are you prepared to answer this question during a job interview? All too often students show up for an interview dressed to impress and prepared to answer questions about themselves, but balk when the conversation turns to the company itself.

It is imperative to research the company with whom you are interviewing so you can sell why you’d be a great fit. You can be spot-on with all other responses, but if it's apparent you don't know anything about the company, it is an immediate turn-off to a recruiter. Plus, how do you know you’re a qualified candidate for that position/company if you haven’t done your homework about the organization?

It isn't necessary to memorize the entire profile of an organization, but it is smart to spend 30 minutes browsing their website, especially the “About Us” section. Also, many … 

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Make a positive first impression during interviews

At ECS, we’re currently knee deep in on-campus interviews. I like to sit with my office door open…and one side effect to doing that is hearing the “small talk” conversation that happens when recruiters are taking students back to their interviewing rooms. Below are two very common scenarios where students hurt their chances of obtaining employment by missing the boat on professionalism through “simple” interactions.


  1. Don’t greet the recruiter with openings like, “Hey James” or “Hi Jess”. Let’s be clear: an interview is a professional setting…one that requires certain conventions. It’s likely you grew up calling your friend’s parents by their first names (instead of Mr. or Mrs. So-and-so)…maybe your parents even let you get away with calling them by their first names (that didn’t fly in my house). There’s a strong probability that the recruiters interviewing you are not your friend’s parents. Therefore, you need to address them as … 
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Get a Jump Start on Interview Prep!

Today's blog is written by Engineering Co-op and Intern Program Advisor, Meg Flood...

Summertime is a wonderful time of the year. It's a time for students to gain hands-on experience at internships and co-ops, network with professionals, and hopefully squeeze in some time in the sun! Summer is also a great time for getting a jump start on preparing for fall interviews.

I know, I know, you just want to enjoy working this summer and not have to think ahead to those interviews where you have to talk about yourself and tell interviewers about a time when you persuaded someone, took initiative, or showed leadership. But if you start thinking about these examples now, you will be ahead of the game when interviews roll around in October.

Here is an effective strategy that doesn’t take much time—but will have big payoffs this fall: once a week spend a little bit … 

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Think About Your Safety When You Prepare for an Interview

Most students don’t think about the dangers potentially associated with the interview process. Understanding what’s “normal” and what’s not is an important part of interview preparation. Although an employer or interviewer is in a position of authority and power, it DOES NOT give them the right to manipulate, harass, coerce, or take advantage of you in any way.

When interviewing for a position off campus, or for something that you found outside of the ECS system…


  1. Make sure it’s a legitimate company and job! Know what company you are interviewing with! Some companies may post jobs that aren’t what they advertise to be. For example, a company may advertise that they want “high-energy, responsible mechanical engineers for an exciting opportunity”, but the job is really a sales position and they display the same job description but change the field to draw in as many unsuspecting college students as they can … 
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