Recent College Grad Talks Interviewing
By Kristian Martinez, Social Media Specialist and Video Technology Consultant at InterviewStream
Everything related to post-graduation life was terrifying. From where am I going to live, what do I want to do, to where am I going to work. Especially that last one: where am I going to work?
What I was expecting was a long journey to find that perfect job — a journey where a lot of interviews would be involved. As graduation came closer, I perfected my portfolio where all my work samples would be showcased. But there was something I was forgetting about — the actual interviews. I became super nervous at just the thought of interviewing. Thankfully, my junior year of college, I had taken an interviewing class which taught me what to expect, how to research companies and what questions to ask in every interview.
One of the main takeaways from the class was the fact that even though I was being interviewed for a certain position, I was also interviewing the company. I needed to take their office culture into account if the person interviewing me is going to be my boss. Did I see myself working under them? And what’s the growth rate for employees?
The interviewing class was possibly one of the most practical classes I could have taken while earning my degree. I wish I could have continued to practice interviewing through my senior year. I definitely would’ve been more at ease about my interviewing skills come graduation (or at least be as confident on my interviewing skills as my portfolio). I could’ve done in-person mock interviews—but let’s be real—those didn’t necessarily fit into an 18 credit hour course load with capstone classes and an internship in the afternoons!
After graduation, I was a typical new graduate where looking for a full-time job was my full-time job. I reviewed application after application, looked through countless websites and relentlessly followed up on my applications. During this journey, I came across InterviewStream. I remembered hearing about InterviewStream from my PR class during the last semester of college. In that class, InterviewStream’s Marketing Director spoke a bit about InterviewStream and PR within the company.
I decided to apply at InterviewStream after finding as much information as I could and learning some facts about the company.
I applied, and a few days later I received a call and an email that contained an invitation to conduct an interview with them. The interview would be online—which I was comfortable with even though it wasn’t the traditional interview format. As I prepared by looking through my old interviewing book from junior year, I still wished I had been able to practice more to become completely confident in my interview.
My experience with the InterviewStream interview was different from what I expected, but I felt comfortable anyways. What I was expecting was a video conference, but when I opened the email, it actually contained a link to a pre-recorded interview where my potential boss had recorded video questions that I would respond to in kind. Before I proceeded with the interview, I was presented with tips and best practices so that I could deliver the best possible interview responses. As I went through the interview, I answered all the questions to the best of my ability, and thankfully, InterviewStream had permitted me to take unlimited retries for my responses. After I was done, I felt confident with my interview and my chances of getting a second call.
Within two days I was called for an in person interview and I was ecstatic! After my in person interview, I was offered the job on the spot!
I was completely surprised that I went from not knowing where to work a week and a half before to now having a job in the line of work I wanted.
What’s the point of the story you ask? Well, the main takeaway is that I wished I could’ve prepared more for interviewing my senior year. I’m thankful for that interviewing class because that one semester prepared me for the most important aspect of life after graduation — getting a job.
Students should prepare for interviews throughout college and it should not be an afterthought. Interviewing skills seem to fall by the wayside when compared to academics through college, but I say they are just as important as your GPA. Take advantage of all the resources your career center has! The more you practice your interviewing skills, the more comfortable you’ll be once you’re searching for your dream job.