14:36 PM

9 Tips for UST Students in a Shifting Job Interview World

University of St. Thomas’ Career Services office, always growing job opportunities for students, has adjusted for a striking change in how companies recruit student candidates. Because of COVID-19, putting your best foot forward to get that job or internship is mainly happening in a virtual environment and demands relevant preparation.

UST Career Services Assistant Director Betsy Rajan said, “Before the pandemic, companies would post jobs online on UST’s platform. Then, interviews would happen on campus, and if they wanted to move forward with a candidate, another interview would take place in the company’s office. Rarely does that happen anymore.”

As a result, Rajan and her colleagues have added new advice to their expert coaching.

“Online encounters tend to be shorter,” Rajan said. “Our students have to be ready to succeed in a more targeted, direct interaction. We help them with their online presence, so they feel more comfortable and come across as their personable, qualified selves.”

9 Tips From UST’s Career Services for Online Interviewing

Career Services helps with everything from resume writing to Q&A practice to dressing for success. Rajan shared nine quick tips that can make a world of difference in a virtual interview.

  • Look at the lens of the camera. That’s the same as “making eye contact” with the interviewer.
  • Position yourself so that you’re about eye level with the lens. This puts you more or less “on their level.”
  • Smile. Or at least have a pleasant look on your face, nonverbally communicating that you’re pleased to be there.
  • Introduce yourself and say hello to everyone in the virtual room.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. “Dress for the part you want to get.”
  • Make sure your surroundings are tidy and look like they belong to someone who takes care of their space.
  • Speak up and speak clearly.
  • Don’t hesitate to let them know if you cannot hear them well. Otherwise, it can look like you’re just not listening.
  • Be sure to prepare some questions to ask at the end. This demonstrates that you’re really interested in the job.

Current Jobs Are Being Offered and Secured

“Even in a pandemic, we’re seeing jobs being offered and secured for STEM business, education analysts, specialists in accounting and medical research, teaching jobs and associate level jobs for graduate students,” Rajan said.

Recruitment of UST students by organizations like KPMG, EY, the FBI, Houston ISD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist, Amazon and others has increased dramatically over the last few years, thanks to successful efforts by Career Services to develop win-win relationships with organizations that are searching for well-rounded, qualified students.

Now, they’ve pivoted to keep UST at the top of the job-securing game in the virtual setting.

For more information about UST’s Career Services, visit here.