College prepared you more than you realize.
It's college graduation season. If you'll be walking to Pomp and Circumstance and shaking hands with the Dean or Provost, congratulations! Graduating is a major accomplishment and you should feel proud. With exams complete and degree in hand, it's time to set your sights on the next milestone: your career.
No doubt, the idea of beginning your first real job search can be daunting, with job interviews being particularly nerve-wracking. But it turns out, you may not have as much reason to fret as you thought. Some of the cornerstones of the college experience translate seamlessly into job interviews, so you've actually been steadily developing valuable job-interview skills all along.
Here, we take a look at what exactly those skills are so you can use them effectively in the interview room.
You can develop a unique perspective
Presumably, you wrote a few papers in your time at school, which means you were tasked with developing a unique point of view on a given topic and supporting it with evidence. While it's a necessary technique for writing essays, it's also an invaluable skill as you embark on your career.
Remember, most companies are not interested in a “yes man” who will mindlessly follow orders. They want employees who will push their team forward by offering new ideas and creative solutions that drive meaningful results. You can prepare for your interviews by thinking back to your papers, recalling how you came to your unique point of view, and applying that to topics in your chosen field to form the ideas that will set you apart.
You've practiced speaking under pressure
You may have dreaded those class presentations, but they were an excellent opportunity to practice speaking under pressure — a defining characteristic of job interviews. No matter how much you practice, there's nothing quite like standing up in front of your class and trying to speak eloquently when your grade depends on it. A job interview requires the same of you, except instead of a grade on the line, it's the future of your career.
Still, the occasional class presentation isn't always enough practice for the higher stakes of a job interview. For more professional training, looking to an interview coach is a good place to start building your confidence.
You can carry out a discourse
“Participation counts for 10% of your total grade.”
You heard it countless times, and each time you likely groaned and wondered what exactly constitutes sufficient participation anyway (until you got your final grade and found out that apparently, what you were doing wasn't it). From big lectures to more intimate recitations or classes that were small to begin with, you were likely expected to participate in a discourse with your professors, TA's, or peers at some point. This was excellent practice for your upcoming job interviews because it required you to partake in thoughtful conversations with active listening and quick responding.
Your interviews will never be a simple Q&A between you and the hiring manager. Like in college, you will be expected to hold your own during in-depth conversations, only now it will be about your experience, education, and professional goals.
We all know a college education is valuable, but it also has its way of sneaking in lessons we don't even notice. That said, sometimes a little extra preparation is necessary to really maximize your skills and knowledge base. Just like meeting with a professor during Office Hours can help clarify information before an exam, working with a professional interview coach can help you sharpen your interview skills and prepare for the big day, all under the guidance of an expert.
You've already made it through college. Now, make it through the interview with the help of professional coaching from TopInterview.
- Where College Fell Short in Preparing You for the Job Interview
- Your Quick and Dirty Interview Prep Guide