Getting into a professional interview post-graduation, without practice, can be an extremely nerve-wracking experience. Although there are many ways to improve your interview skills, the most effective method for improvement is practice!
During my undergraduate program, as a business student in my 2nd year, I found myself seeking to polish my interview skills to prepare for the MECOP panel interviews that were fast approaching. The College of Business sent out a newsletter and I saw an advertisement for a “Mock Interview Day” being held for students to participate in practice interviews with real-world employers.
I attended this event and the experience was inspiring, informational, and proved to produce the valuable interview confidence I had been personally seeking. The interviewers were there to provide a real world interview setting by asking students interview questions they could expect from actual employers. Fortunately, I was able to quickly master my elevator pitch and learn critical interview tactics. My resume was critiqued, professionally, and the changes I made vastly improved how my resume was interpreted moving forward. The interviewers asked great questions and offered valuable feedback to my responses. I was able to effectively tailor how I expressed my work experience to employers, better conveying the skill sets that I intended to express.
With this practice opportunity, I made it through my MECOP interviews unscathed. Skipping forward a couple of years, after my internship concluded, I moved up to Portland to find job opportunities to start my career. After spending a couple of months seeking work opportunities, I received another email from the College of Business informing me of an upcoming career fair. Excited to return to campus for the event, I traveled to back Corvallis, sporting professional attire, and ‘interviewed’ with as many employers as I could. In less than 3 days after introducing myself to the company (NAVEX Global), I received my dream job offer.
Skip a year forward from signing that offer – I’m now a professional in-house Corporate Recruiter. I’ve recently returned to campus as an employer to represent my company at the career fair. In just a year, the tables have turned. I am now seeking talented students for post-grad job opportunities ranging from entry-level to senior-level functions. My experience hosting the same Mock Interviews I attended 4 years ago is my way of giving back to the OSU community. The opportunity to practice interview skills, prior to seeking employment post-graduation, is ultimately a valuable experience that I strongly encourage every student to participate in.
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