Interviewing with the Firms
Preparing for Interviews
In the last blog I wrote about preparing for interviews by taking steps such as participating in mock interviews. After the mock interviews, I received feedback regarding my interviewing skills and then made the adjustments where needed.
Once I knew what interview skills I needed to work on, I practiced interviewing with my family and friends. I know you are probably thinking that sounds kind of lame or awkward, but trust me, it actually works!
Also, I received great advice in my Accounting 600 class on interview tips. For instance, definitely practice “behavioral based” questions, which asks about a time you reacted in a certain situation. Such as “tell me about a time when you had to handle a conflict.” Or “tell me about a time when you had to meet a deadline.”
Snagging An Interview
In a nutshell, this is how the interview sign-up process works… I logged into e-pack, the NCSU job board, uploaded my resume, and requested an interview with the firm(s). Then, I waited to hear back from the firm to see if they accepted or rejected my request for an interview.
If a firm chose to interview me, I selected a time slot from the provided options for interviews. Next, I went to the career center on the designated interview date.
I was really surprised that this was not a very difficult process… I liked how the entire process took place online which eliminated having to play “phone tag” when trying to set up an interview!
A few of the firms had a “pre-interview social” the night before I interviewed with them. The pre-interview socials I attended entailed going to a nice restaurant, socializing with firm employees, and eating hor’dourves. The main point of the pre-interview social is to meet as many of the firm’s employees as you can and learn more about the firm to determine if you are a good fit or not.
I really enjoyed getting to know firm employees and meeting some of my interviewers in a more casual atmosphere prior to the interview. However, even though pre-interview socials are in a mostly business casual atmosphere, candidates are still being evaluated. It’s important not to forget this and to mind your p’s and q’s!
The Big Day
On the interview date, I generally arrived approximately 15 minutes prior to my interview. Typically, firms had “greeters” in the interview waiting area to talk to the candidates. Most of the greeters were recent graduates, so it was great being able to ask them questions about their jobs and the transition from being a student to working.
Once in the interview, the interviewer introduced his or herself then I introduced myself. After the introductions, questions about my resume and past experiences were asked. Sometimes behavioral interview questions were asked but this was not always the case. Toward the end of the interview I was able to ask any questions I had about the firm. Generally, the interviews lasted between 30 and 45 minutes. I was amazed at how fast the time flew by!
After the interviews I always sent thank you notes to the interviewer. Once the first round of interviews were done the next step in the process was an office visit with the firm(s). My next blog will be about my experiences as I go through the “office visit” stage of interviewing, so stay tuned!
Let me know if you have any questions about my interview experiences, feel free to ask them in the comments.