• How to Prepare for Your Interview

    by Will Cagnassola

    A male college student sitting at a table and looking at a laptop. He is wearing a suit jacket and tie.

    With the beginning of a new semester comes everyone’s favorite season: recruitment. After applying for a job, sitting down for an interview can be nerve wracking. Whether you’ll be searching for a position for this school year or already looking ahead to next summer, I’m here to provide some insight on how to make this process easier and to help you land a quality job or internship.

    Advance Preparations

    Once you land an interview, there are some things you need to do ahead of time to be successful day of. These include:

    1. Research. The best thing you can do as a job prospect is to research the company prior to an interview. Learn about what they do, what they care about, and how they help the community around them. This is absolutely key for showcasing your interest in the company, which is ultimately one of the first steps in building trust with your potential employer.
    2. Prepare. Know your resume like the back of your hand. You will be asked about prior experiences and how they relate to the job you are applying for. Be sure you can answer this and elaborate on any other experiences listed.
    3. Ask Questions. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Compile a list of questions in advance to respond to the ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ question. Ask the interviewer what they like about their company, what they would change. This kind of curiosity leads to ideas and eventually greater advancements.

    Day-of-Interview Plan of Action

    If your interview is in person, be sure to arrive on time and in the necessary attire. Make sure you have a reliable mode of transportation, a second (and third) copy of your resume, and more than enough time to get to your interview location.

    If the interview is via video call, consider what will be in your background during the call. Find a spot around your home that looks organized and has minimal distractions. Or set up a virtual background if necessary. Minimize background noise. Check that your Wi-Fi is running, that your computer is functioning, and that you have the link readily available prior to the call. Have an internet outage contingency plan. Could you join by phone if your wi-fi suddenly goes down?

    One last bit of advice - always, always, always thank the interviewer for taking the time to discuss your job opportunity. Follow-up with a thank-you email. Time is the most valuable asset in the world, yet it is most often overlooked. If you recognize and appreciate that somebody has taken the time out of their day to help you, it opens up many opportunities to form a quality relationship in the future.

    If you are able to follow my advice, I promise you will have a great chance of getting the job!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us -  click here  to pitch your idea and get started! 

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  • Conquering the COVID school year

    by Will Cagnassola

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    College students, welcome to 2020: a school year unlike any other. A year of cancelled internships, Wi-Fi dilemmas, and isolation. Being a junior, I have come to understand how much of a detriment COVID-19 has been to the educational process, my social life, and mental health in general. This virus has made about every aspect of academic life unfamiliar. It has made every meal, conversation, walk home, and assignment that much more difficult. Trust me- I am right here with you. It is beyond frustrating! However, there ARE ways to help yourself move forward when the world is at a standstill. This blog will provide tips on how to stay on track with online classes while on campus and maintain a stress-free lifestyle while searching for employment in 2020.

    Stick to a schedule

    The most crucial aspect of keeping up with online school is updating your schedule. Whether you have a planner, calendar, or a good ole to-do list, you must update it on a daily basis. New assignments pop up all the time and they are even harder to keep track of when in-person lectures are not possible. I have had to find new ways to remind myself of upcoming work. For students struggling to stay on track, I would suggest designating sections on your personal schedule to each class. Write down specific assignments, due dates and exam times in chronological order. I personally like to mark exams in my schedule a week early. I have found that this strategy pushes me to look at study materials ahead of time.

    Never stop networking

    To all the students currently in the search for internships and full-time jobs – that is fantastic! You are already ahead of the game. To those who are not, that is completely fine. There is plenty of time to find opportunities this school year. Given the wait necessary for a COVID-19 vaccine to be brought to market, many companies have put new hires on hold. You can use this gap in recruitment to your advantage by building your network. Begin to leverage your media and start to build a more professional brand. Seek out advice from people experienced in your field of interest and use the technology you have available to make connections!

    Help yourself

    Stress is at an all-time high for students right now and remaining positive can be very difficult. It is understandable if some of my tips may not seem feasible for busier students right now. However, there are ways to win this school year. My advice would be to steer your focus on academics and get ahead. Try to spend an hour outside each day (unless you are quarantined) and exercise as often as time allows it. Also, do not forget to prioritize your sleep. When running low on rest, it is significantly harder to make it through your day.

    In a year unlike any other, students are faced with unique challenges. By sticking to a schedule, taking time to build your network, and practicing positivity, you’ll be able to conquer this school year.

     

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