Interview Tips for On-Campus Jobs
Working on campus offers several benefits for college students from convenience to flexibility. In addition, you may gain valuable skills and contacts for your future career path. Use these tips to help you land the job.
Before Interview Day
- Look at the department or office website to understand its mission and activities. Then, articulate how those are tied to your own goals and how you can help your employer.
- Ask how long the interviewer expects the session to take and schedule appropriately. Plan to arrive early.
- If you’re communicating with the interviewer, ask about the office dress code. If you’re unsure how to dress for your interview, err on the side of more business than casual, even if it means overdressing for your 8 a.m. class.
- Know your availability. How many hours can you work during the week without affecting your studies? Do you have a regular activity or commitment that you’ll need to schedule around?
- Ask potential references who aren’t related to you if you can give out their contact information.
- Prepare your answers — with examples — to common interview questions, such as:
- Name an accomplishment you’re proud of.
- What previous jobs have you had and what did you do?
- Tell me about an area you’d like to improve on.
- Think of at least two questions to ask the interviewer.
- If you’re nervous or haven’t had a job interview before, work with your campus’s career services to practice.
Day of the Interview
- Have the interviewer’s contact information with you in case you’re unavoidably delayed.
- Bring a copy of the resume and cover letter you submitted when you applied, as well as a transcript or other documentation that show your qualifications if the job is related to academic ability. Bring along your reference information as well.
- Arrive five to 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time.
- Silence or turn off your phone and put away earbuds and other electronics.
- Dispose of any food, drinks or gum before you enter the office.
- Introduce yourself and shake hands firmly.
- Be friendly and relaxed (but still professional).
- Show that you’re attentive by making eye contact with the interviewer, nodding and smiling as he or she describes situations or asks questions, and paraphrasing questions in your response.
- Don’t feel like you need to rush every answer. Thinking for a few seconds can help you make sure you convey the impression you want to give. If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification.
- Before you leave, ask about the next steps and the timeline for those.
- Thank the interviewer for his or her time and shake hands again.
After the Interview
- Within 24 hours, send a more formal thank-you by email.
- If you haven’t heard anything within a couple of days after the timeline you were given at the interview, follow up. Let the interviewer know that you are still interested in the job and offer to provide any additional information needed.
By: Iowa Student Loan