Mock Interviewing and the Real Thing!
Next Steps in Recruitment
As I mentioned in my last blog, the first recruiting event that MAC students attend during the recruitment process is Meet the Firms. That event went extremely well this year with 4 nights of information from public accounting firms. We also spent one morning at the Corporate Expo to learn about the other opportunities in accounting. I learned so much and made great contacts during these events. Now I am onto the next step in the process – campus interviews!
Mock Interviewing… Practice Makes Perfect
In our ACC 600 class (Managerial & Career Effectiveness), several speakers talked about what the interview process is like, proper etiquette, what to wear, and so forth, but the point reiterated the most is practice is essential. One great aspect of the MAC program is we experience mock interviews before the real ones begin. First, we are given a large sheet of common interview questions to prepare for. I went through and bulleted some examples that I have for these questions. It is definitely important to be prepared but not sound memorized. Then, all of the students signed up for a 10 minute interview slot to practice.
On the day of my mock interview, I came into the Nelson Board Room dressed in business professional attire with my resume on hand. Kelly Hardy, our Assistant Director of Career Services, conducted the interview; however, volunteers from different firms were also in the room to act as evaluators.
I treated the mock interview just like it was the real thing. I shook hands with my interviewer, sat down with good posture, maintained eye contact, and listened attentively to the questions. I was asked to tell a little bit about myself, and then I had two behavioral style questions which involve telling about an experience that happened to you. After the questions were over, I received feedback that I could use when the real interviews began and was just encouraged to continually think of experiences for questions and keep practicing!
The Real Thing
Since the mock interview process finished, I have now been able to test my skills in some real interviews. I learned every interviewer will have his or her own style on how they conduct the interview, but the key point is to remain flexible. Interviews can range from having questions asked about your resume, having behavioral style questions, or even being more of a conversation. One of the questions I got was almost exactly like one I had in my mock interview, and it was great to feel prepared for that!
Key Points I’ve Learned About Interviews:
- Practice, practice practice! Don’t be afraid to practice questions with friends or think of what type of examples your experiences provide
- Do your homework! Make sure your research the firm/organization you are applying for and know why you want to work for that particular one
- Know the location of your interview, and arrive early
- Let the interviewer set the tone of the interview, whether it is more conversational or question based
- Have questions prepared for your interviewer at the end
- Try to be relaxed (take some deep breaths!), be yourself, and most importantly, smile!
- Send thank you notes or e-mails afterwards
Next Blog Post
When you hear from me next, I will update you on the office visit process. Let me know if you have any questions about interviews (you can leave them in the comments), and you can always see more daily details on the MAC Twitter Account!