Career Services Prepares Students for the Real World
By Ryan Brockhaus
One of the most intimidating experiences for a college student is going through that first official interview with a potential employer. Even the most prepared students get nervous interviewing for the first time.
One way to reduce interview jitters is to take advantage of the many services available to students through UW-Eau Claire Career Services. Robin Johengen, UW-Eau Claire Career and Employment Coordinator, agrees. "Employers really can tell when students have worked with Career Services," she said "Their resume looks more professional and they respond to interview questions more professionally."
Johengen and Career Services staff will review resumes, show students how to research companies, and provide sample interview questions. Every year, Career Services hosts a Mock Interview Day when employers from different companies all over the country come to campus and do practice interviews with students.
Students can also gain interview experience by working with Patty Practice, a stand-alone computer located in Career Services that facilitates and records a practice interview with a student. The questions asked by the computer are general interview questions geared towards a student's core competencies. After the student completes the interview with the computer, Johengen will have a debriefing session with the student. During this meeting, she will review the student's responses and offer advice to advance the student's skills.
In addition to working with Career Services, Johengen offers several other tips for students preparing for an interview:
Attend employer information sessions. Many employers conduct information sessions prior to interviews. Students who attend these sessions will gain a better understanding of what employers are looking for in prospective employees. Attendance also shows employers that a student is really interested in their company and position.
Dress professionally. Creating a positive first impression is important.
Follow up and send thank you notes. According to Johengen, students who follow up after an interview will win a tie breaker with a fellow student who is equal in qualifications but didn't follow up."
Johengen offers this final advice to students who will be interviewing -- be honest, be yourself and be relaxed. By following these tips and visiting Career Services, students can better prepare for interviews.
» Visit Career Services
Ryan Brockhaus is a senior marketing student from Mayville, WI. He wrote this article for a BCOM 306 class project.