Networking and Interviewing
Networking is about making connections and building relationships. By talking with people who work in your field of interest, you can deepen your knowledge about the industry, profession, or graduate program.
Networking provides an opportunity to gather valuable information in a low-anxiety situation while allowing you to make contacts in your field of interest. Here’s how it can help you throughout your career development process:
- Explore Career Fields. Gain insights and information that can help you choose a career path and focus your job search.
- Find Job Leads. Uncover the “hidden job market”, where 70% – 80% of all professional jobs are obtained, and possibly gain an inside track on interviews.
- Get LinkedIn. Join an interconnected online network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries. You can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals to help you locate new business opportunities, find jobs, get expert professional advice, and stay informed about your contacts and industry. View the tutorials on how to get started in utilizing this tool.
- Build Your Career. Continuing networking after you’ve started your new job or a new career to enhance your skill base and keep current with trends in your field. Finding mentors to support your career growth and taking on active roles within a professional association will benefit you when making career transitions and seeking career advancement.
Interviewing is a critical component of a job or internship search and practice is key! The key to successful interviewing is knowing who you are and knowing the organization with which you are interviewing. To prepare for an interview, you should:
- Conduct a Self-Evaluation. Know what you are looking for in a position by evaluating your values, interests, skills, and abilities. Know why you want to work for each company before you head into your interviewing. (Hint: This is a classic interview question. Having a well-prepared response is always helpful.)
- Research the Organization. Learning about the organization, specific department, and industry trends help you to ask more intelligent questions. You can find company information on the web, through the news, and from people who work there.
- Prepare and Practice. Review sample questions you might be asked and think about strategies to answer them. Write down questions you can ask the interviewer and bring them into the interview.
- Schedule a Mock Interview. Contact the Career Development Center to meet with one of our professional staff members to help you sharpen your interviewing skills. Take advantage of the University’s partnership with InterviewStream, a web-based service that allows you to interview anytime and from anywhere with an internet connection.
- Dress for Success. First impressions are extremely important to employers. Make sure you dress appropriately for the industry in which you want to work or intern.
- Communicate Professionally. Practice making good eye contact with the interviewer, and offer a firm but comfortable handshake. Listen carefully so you can respond appropriately to the questions asked. Fully answer the interviewer’s questions without rambling or going off on tangents. Always follow up with a thank-you note to show your appreciation for the interview.