Practice Interviews from the Comfort of Your Dorm Room

By Brennan McCormick, Career Services Ambassador

Interview season is in full swing for full-time positions, and few will dispute that preparation is often what makes the difference between an average interview and an interview that leads to an offer. With many students wondering how best to prepare, the Career Services Office would like to highlight a little known online resource available to all Davidson students – InterviewStream.

InterviewStream is a webcam-based interface that presents students with pre-selected questions and then records the student’s response. Students can practice interviewing from the comfort of their dorm rooms. After their online interview is complete, they can review the visual and audio record to determine their interviewing strengths and identify possible areas for improvement.

This technology can be especially useful in preparing for Skype and phone interviews. In both of these instances, the tonality of the interviewee’s voice is magnified in importance because the interviewer will not be able to effectively judge body language. Having the ability to listen to a recording of one’s interview responses allows students to put themselves in the interviewer’s place and reflect on their own performance.

While InterviewStream is a useful resource, it still cannot replace the value of face-to-face practice. However, I would recommend using InterviewStream as a starting point if a student is new to interviewing. It is a great way to get comfortable before practicing live in front of an employer. Once comfortable with interviewing, the next best step is to schedule a mock interview in the Career Services office. Whether it’s a behavioral interview, phone interview, or a case interview, the Career Services office staff will do everything they can to make sure you are ready for your next interview.

Managing F.E.A.R.

By Damian White, Career Services Ambassador

Throughout my undergraduate experience, I have found that some of the most interesting and powerful lessons are learned outside of the classroom.  On September 18th, I had the opportunity to attend a talk given by Hill Harper at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.  Hill Harper, an alumnus of Harvard Law School, is an author, activist, and actor who is most recently known for his role in CSI: NY.

After the hustle and bustle of the crowd settled, Hill Harper asked the audience: “What do you think is the number one obstacle the keeps young people from achieving their dreams?” Silence overcame the crowd, and he answered, “F.E.A.R.” Not a “scared of the dark” type of fear, but Hill asserted a “False Evidence Appearing Real” type of fear.  His point was that students often constrain and restrict their dreams by succumbing, consciously and unconsciously, to outside factors that set limits on their potential.

In the beginning of his talk, Hill told students to write down their dreams. After captivating the audience through the use of his metaphor of being an “Active Architect of our Dreams,” Hill asked the students to double their dreams. At this point, students were supposed to write down dreams twice as big as the ones they had written in the beginning of the program. The fact that so many students could double their dreams was proof that F.E.A.R. had already impacted the way they think about their goals and dreams.

So, how do we combat F.E.A.R.?
As the “Active Architects of our Dreams,” we must have a strong foundation.  Hill Harper says that education and money are the foundation that we need in order to begin to build our “dream.”  He asserts that while neither education nor money promise success, they both often lead to options that help as we navigate the often non-linear paths to our dreams.

Next, we need a framework.  This framework is found in the support systems that allow our foundations to remain stable, such as family, friends, and mentors.

Beginning to see our structure develop, we need walls. He says that these walls are made up of the choices that we make.  These choices become very influential in the way that we prepare for the metaphorical “weather” (hardships and obstacles) that we will face along the way.

Finally, Hill says that we need a door.  This door serves to let people in and out of our structure.  By regulating this door, we begin to take control of who has access to our dreams.

Davidson…I think it is time to close the door on F.E.A.R. and open it back up for our dreams.

Phone Interview Tips!

Unless you are only looking for a job or internship in Charlotte there is a good chance that your first interview with an employer will be over the phone.  During phone interviews you will not be able to read the interviewers’ facial expressions and body language, which makes it difficult to know if they understand your answers to their questions.  They also will obviously not be able to see you, which means you have to express your enthusiasm through your voice and words.  You can find lots of interesting articles on phone interviews through Google, but here is one to get you started!

Consulting Case Interview Videos and Online Tutorials

Quite a few seniors are busily preparing for upcoming case interviews with some of the strategic consulting firms recruiting at Davidson.  A number of prep resources are located on our consulting career page, but I want to highlight some videos and online tutorials where you can see an actual case interview being completed:

Good luck and stop by Career Services if you have questions!