Interviewing After College: Part II

Interviewing Tips

Mentioning anything you’ve turned around or improved on campus will show that you can lead and envision solutions to challenges. Now that you’ve established the markers of your best traits in Part I, ask yourself how you can frame this premise into a problem-solving story.

Here’s an example of how to structure your story in a way that hiring managers will digest: a tennis-playing college-athlete, Scarlett, runs into some challenges. The team isn’t winning often, this “small” sport isn’t getting the same benefits as other varsity athletes, and there is next to no publicity for tennis matches. This tennis player is keen on changing this, so she gets to every practice 10 minutes early and always stays late to serve. Then she offers to become a representative of the tennis team to negotiate with the athletic department. Once she starts winning often, her credibility with her coach and the director of athletics is established. Scarlett capitalizes on this attention by arranging a meeting with the athletic director. After several discussions, the athletic department starts promoting tennis matches on campus, and gets Subway to “sponsor” one of the matches. The bigger crowds instill camaraderie and morale into the team, so they start playing better overall. To propagate these positive outcomes, the coach makes Scarlett the captain for next year and earns the “VIP Award” on her tennis team.

Remember problem-action-result to convey why you should be hired. Then have your story memorized and articulate it well. That is how you’ll gain the respect of your hiring manager and potentially a second interview.