Students can ace their next interview by following a few rules

Jamie Lauten

With the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences ‘ career fair just days away, the words “job” and “internship” have started to creep back into the minds of many ISU students. As students prepare their resumes and practice their best pitches, they might want to keep a few things in mind.

Simply put, a successful interview should comprise three parts, said Mike Gaul, director of the CALS Career Services.

First, do your homework — research and learn as much as possible about the company before you talk to them.

“Generally the number one complaint that companies have when they come to campus is that when students interview with them they don’t know that much about them,” Gaul said.

Gaul said the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Services website is a great tool that students have at their disposal. Not only does it display a complete list of every company that will be attending the career fair this Wednesday, but it also provides direct links to each company’s website.

Next, students need to remember to sell themselves, Gaul said. It is important to show the interviewer that you have the skills it takes to be a part of their corporation.

There are hundreds of different clubs and organizations that are offered at Iowa State that can help students grow and gain experience in their career field, Gaul said.

Gaul advocated that students should strive to be well-rounded and give employers “something uniquely positive to remember you by.”

Last, don’t forget the physical. Megan Stein, freshman in agricultural studies, gained a competitive edge in her interview by using good eye contact as well as starting and ending each interview with a nice firm handshake.

Stein used these skills to gain an internship for the seed sales company AgriGold this summer.

“Think of every interview as a privilege and, if nothing else, an opportunity to network,” Stein said.

The real world awaits. Companies across the country are just waiting for their next great job candidate — and that person could be you.