On-Campus Interviews: How to Knock Them Out of the Park

This time of year, Career Services’ offices around college campuses are being inundated with on-campus interviews.  Recruiters from various industries and areas recruit students for full-time and internship positions.  Students need to take these opportunities very seriously and come prepared.  Here are my tips for a successful on-campus interview:

Dress the part

While professional dress is not trendy, it is classic and timeless.  You may want to check out your Career Services website for guidelines on what to wear or more importantly, what not to wear!  Ladies, this means your skirt should not be the same one you would wear out that night with your girlfriends!

Practice

Conduct a mock interview before your actual interview.  Many offices have mock interviews as a service to students and provide tremendous feedback.

Research

Read about the companies that interest you and figure out why you want to work for them.  Help yourself stand out by remembering the details.

Follow through

Do not leave the interview without knowing the next step.  As you wrap up the interview, ask what their time frame is and how soon you can expect to hear from them.  Write your recruiter(s) a hand-written thank-you note to express your appreciation for the opportunity and reiterate your enthusiasm for the job or internship.

Evaluate the offer

The hope of everyone who interviews on campus is that they receive an offer for a full-time job or an internship.  Be sure to think this over carefully and reach out to your Career Services staff for advice when necessary.  They are a great, objective sounding board for these decisions.

Know that on-campus interviews are a two-way street.  While the recruiters are sizing you up to see if you would be a good fit for their company and a particular position, you are also evaluating them as a potential employer.  Do not blindly jump at an opportunity simply because it will look good on your resume.  Make sure you will gain a valuable experience from the internship or full-time position.

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Mary Delaney

Mary Delaney works at the University of Oklahoma in the Career Services office as an Assistant Director for the College of Arts & Sciences and Internship/Co-op Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Texas at San Antonio and a Masters of Education from the University of Oklahoma.

  • Cindy

    Does time of day affect whether the interviewer will like you or not? I’ve actually failed two on-campus interviews, and I don’t really know what went wrong; they simply asked why I chose the school and about my background.