Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Preparing for a Job Interview with a Little Help from the Career Center!

It’s that time of the year again, when many students find themselves applying to different jobs and internships! Whether you are a freshman exploring different interests by volunteering for the summer, or a senior searching for that full-time job after graduation, a key factor to doing well in any application process is the interview.

Have you ever had an interview that you felt went terribly? I did. I can still remember the first “real” interview I ever had. It was in high school and I was extremely nervous. In fact, my interviewer even said to me, “You look very nervous.” As expected, I did not receive a job offer, and for a while after I was very discouraged. I thought it would be impossible for me to ever do well on an interview. And if I couldn’t do well on interviews, then how was I ever going to get a job and gain experience for the future?

If you have ever had a similar experience or feel that way now, it is okay. There are many individuals that are in the same shoes! However, there is no reason to be intimidated by the interviewing process. I am a senior graduating this May, and from my experiences, I have learned that interviewing is a skill. Yes, like all other skills, some learn quicker than others and it may come naturally. But for many others, including myself, interviewing is learned through experience. Each and every time you interview, you learn from it.

A great way to prepare for a job interview, or even just to practice your interviewing skills, is to come into the Career Center for a mock interview! Our career counselors know the types of questions that employers generally ask, and the best part is that they can give you helpful and specific feedback. You will learn what your strong points are, but also what you need to work on before your actual interview. The best way to improve your interviewing skills is learning through experience, so practice… practice… practice!

I have had three mock interviews at the Career Center since the Fall 2011 semester, and I plan to have another one in the very near future! With each mock interview I’ve had, I’ve learned something new. I’ve even done a mock phone interview, which was really great! Sometimes phone interviews can feel unusual and even a little awkward. When I had my mock phone interview, I got to experience the pause that might come along when speaking to an employer, and the quick pace and style of a phone interview. These are things that you would normally read about, but aren’t really sure what they are like until you experience them. After my mock phone interview I felt more confident about the real deal that was yet to come, and I ended up doing really well!

So, if you would like to work on your interviewing skills, come to the Career Center and schedule a mock interview with one of our career counselors. I guarantee it will be a worthwhile experience that you will learn a lot from!


Denise Cheng
Career Counseling Intern
Stony Brook University

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