Preparing for Campus Interviews

You only get one chance to make a first impression!    Preparing for your interview whether it is on campus or at the employer's location is the key to making a lasting, positive impression. Demonstrating your enthusiasm and interest will be most effective if you are confident, armed with good information about the company and solid questions and examples of your skills.

The Career Resource Centers located in each Career Services office maintains corporate literature of organizations that participate in Campus Recruiting. These materials are on reserve and must be read in the office only. The Internet is also an integral part of your research activity. You can begin by seeing if we have already linked to the company's home page here on this web site. 

In addition to gaining company information, be sure to review a complete job description also on reserve in the Career Services office.

Many employers hold information sessions the night before interviews are held on campus. Most are mandatory for those candidates who have been selected to interview. These sessions are invaluable for gathering more specific information about the company and to assist the employer in getting better aquatinted with the candidates in an informal setting.

Be sure to check with your Career Services office to see about special interview workshops, videotapes and mock interview sessions to assist with your individual interviewing concerns.  Remember to BE PREPARED!!!


The Second Interview
 

What should I expect to happen?
Interviews may vary according to:
  • The length of the trip
  • The number of people you may meet with
  • The types of tests conducted
  • The degree of informality
  • The length of the actual interviews - This interview will more than likely be the key to whether or not you are offered the position and it can be the deciding factor for you as to whether or not you want the position.

What kind of questions will they ask me?
Second interview questions are typically designed to assess your confidence and poise, enthusiasm and motivation, oral communication skills, and leadership potential.  They will also help the employer identify:

  • Your work environment preference
  • Your ability to work independently or in a group
  • The skills and experience your might bring to the job - What you must do is connect your skills and abilities to the requirements of the position.

What does a typical interview day consist of?

  • When reporting initially to your contact person, you will discuss the day's activities, the structure of the organization, general procedures, and answering of general questions.
  • Often times, a meal will be part of the interview day.  Be sure to brush-up on your meal-time etiquette!!!
  • You may then meet with several individuals, including prospective supervisors and members of your division.
  • Touring the facilities is usually on the agenda.  Before the on-site interview, make the effort to learn more about the general geographic location of the company.
  • At the end of the day, you may meet with a human resources or personnel representative.  Be prepared to share your impressions of the people you met with and the company at that time if asked.  This is a good time for you to ask any remaining questions you may have.

Who will I be meeting with?

  • You can expect to meet with several managers in one day.  The interviewers will most likely be line managers or senior executives, not human resources representatives.

Why would a company even conduct a second interview?   The second interview also allows a candidate to:

  • See the environment in which they would be working
  • Meet some of their potential co-workers
  • Learn more about the company, the position and long-term career opportunities
  • The organization itself
  • The geographic region in which they would be working

How do I prepare for the second interview?

  • Begin by researching the company.  Take advantage of the resources offered to you by the Placement Service, including the employer library.
  • Review any information that may have been given to you by the company prior to or after your initial interview.
  • Be sure to ask as many questions as needed to help you understand the position in its entirety.
  • Utilize periodicals that may list company information including stocks, current company happenings, etc.
  • Review any notes you may have taken after your first interview
  • Be sure to take at least one good copy of your resume (I would suggest several copies) and any other materials you may not have forwarded previously (i.e. transcripts, writing sample, portfolio, teaching certificate.)
  • Make sure you know with whom you are meeting and where you will meet.
  • Confirm with the organization any travel arrangements.
  • Plan your wardrobe for comfort and appearance, considering the climate and the season.  Suits or appropriate interview attire should still be worn during the second interview, unless otherwise specified by the company.
  • Allow yourself plenty of travel time.  If you are flying to the appointment, be sure to check in at the airport at least one hour prior to the departure time.  If you are driving, plan in advance to arrive at least one-half hour prior to the appointed time.

Will I be made an offer on the spot after the interview?

  • In most instances, offers will not be made on the spot.  The human resources person you meet with at end of the day will probably discuss and explain the follow-up procedures, discuss reimbursement if necessary, and clean up any remaining business.  Most firms will write or call within one to two weeks.

How do I follow up after the second interview?

  • Much like the first interview, sending a thank you letter is always appropriate.  Indicate your interest in the position, thank them for their time and the opportunity to meet with them.  If, after the second interview you are no longer interested in the position, indicate that as well, but do so tactfully.  You do not want to burn bridges