I will graduate from college soon and keep hearing about the
importance of gaining interviewing skills but how am I supposed to get the
experience without going on interviews? It’s confusing to me and I’m afraid
I am going to miss out on a great opportunity because of my lack of
interviewing practice. Help!
The Career Doctor responds:
A few job-seekers are naturals at job interviews but for the
rest of us the more experience we have with interviewing the better we do.
Unlike other job-seekers however you have a big advantage — you’re still in college.
Your first action should be to head directly to the career services office at
your college and request a mock interview. Typically one of the staff members
will interview in the role of a potential employer and then critique your performance
once the interview portion is over.
Next most colleges have career fairs and recruiters visiting campus. You
should find out when these events are happening and sign-up for interviews.
Often the folks coming back are alums and besides giving you an interview
some of them may give you some feedback on your performance.
While you are planning to do those two things you should also be reading
up on job interviewing as much as you can. Read up on strategies — the job
interview is like a sales call where you need to sell the prospective employers
on your skills and fit — as well as familiarize yourself with typical questions
that are asked at job interviews.
You’ll also want to be sure you have the appropriate wardrobe for interviewing.
Ideally you’ll have at least two suits for the interviewing process. If the suit is
skirted be sure to have the length of the skirt a conservative length — not
Finally you can also ask others — family members former co-workers etc. –
to also conduct mock interviews with you.
Looking for the best interviewing resources on the Web? Find them in this section of
Quintessential Careers: Guide to
Job Interviewing Resources.