For me, it started with a Skype interview. Granted, I can appreciate a Skype interview– you can see the person interviewing you, and feel more of a connection than you might over a phone interview. But finding a place to have one is a pain. You have to find the right lighting, a low noise level, a strong WiFi connection… it’s a daunting task.
That’s where JMU Career & Academic Planning (CAP) came in. Now, if you frequent CAP a lot, you’re probably thinking really? This is ground breaking for you? Really, it is. And I have a feeling it is for a lot of other people too.
I was lucky enough to sit down with Laura Hickerson, an internship coordinator for CAP. She let me know about resources that they offer, and that we may not be taking full advantage of.
To first address my Skype interview dilemma, she let me know that CAP offers a practice interview program. It’s with a real employer, but obviously not with the employer you’re looking to hire with. They also offer Interview Stream, a software that CAP purchased that has over 10,000 interview questions. Basically, you talk into your webcam and have three minutes to answer each question to a virtual employer. It even has a feature where you can count how many times you use verbal fillers such as “like” and “um.” Anybody can do it!
CAP also has 14 interview rooms that you can book, and are usually under high demand following career fairs. This is where you can request a set up for a Skype interview (which would have been really helpful in my situation). Your backdrop will be simple and professional, which is often preferred for interviews.
I asked Hickerson what her best advice would be for students who have trouble promoting themselves during interviews. She advised that students practice as much as they can! It makes self-promotion so much easier.
“Talk about yourself in a sincere way and a competitive way,” she said. “You all have the same degree, but are bringing unique experiences to the table.”
Last but not least, did you know that after you graduate, you still have a year of access to CAP services? Whether it be advising, career fairs, or workshops, these resources are still at your fingertips. You can schedule appointments over the phone or email, or if you’re still near the ‘burg, pop in.
Overall, I’m so glad that I stopped by and refreshed myself on what CAP has to offer. Also, please know that I by no means covered all of their resources, so explore their website here. Until then, I’ll be accessing CAP of all of my Skype interview needs. Happy job hunting, dukes. I’m rooting for you.