All students who attend a university have the same end goal: graduate and start a career.  But before achieving the end goal, there are interviews.

During my freshman year, the most difficult aspect of college was trying to find time to watch New Girl.  If only I had known freshman year was going to be the easiest year…now, on top of having classes and homework I have two part time jobs, I am a board member in a campus group, AND I am on the lookout for the next step in my life: starting my career.


Step One: Personal Branding

Throughout my schooling at UW-Whitewater I had always been told to understand my brand and promote it.  This seemed simple enough, who could know me better than I do?  Turns out it was not that simple.  Until I took my Social Media Marketing class I had a difficult time understanding how to convey my personal brand or even what it was.

The following questions are what ultimately helped me understand my brand and how to share it with others.

  • What are your values?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What are you known for?
  • What tasks do others ask of you?
  • What do you want to be known for?

Step Two: Job Searchs and Applications

In my experience, the job search can be the easiest and most difficult part about starting a career.  The easy: setting standards for the type of career and deciding on what location you hope for.  The difficult: understanding the ideal salary and actually applying.  At times the application process can feel overwhelming.  To make the process a little easier, I have found it works best if I set aside time when I will be applying for jobs and give myself a small snack break between each of the applications/cover letters I finish.

Step Three: Interview

Going into an interview can be intimidating. Although you can be prepared and have a few ideas as to what the interviewer will ask, you never know what random question they will ask to see how you handle a high stress moment.  In short, expect the unexpected.

Keep in Mind:

  • Learn how to shake hands correctly; you want to show respect while not sending the interviewer to the ER with a crushed hand
  • Be personable/excited; you want to work there, right?
  • Don’t be afraid if you don’t know an answer; let the interviewer know you will get back to them with the answer
  • Know some history about the company or fun facts
  • Ask lots and lots of questions; this shows you are interested in the company
  • Make an impression; send a thank you with a few hints as to what you discussed in the interview
  • ASK FOR THE JOB: make sure to ask what the next steps are

Have more questions?  Set up a time to chat with the friendly folks at Career & Leadership Development #InTheUC or check out some of these helpful links!  Good luck in your career search!

17 Tips to Ace your Next Phone Interview:

7 Ways to Impress your Interviewers:

Job Hunt Strategies for College Grads and Other Entry-level Job Seekers:

The Anatomy of a Great Resume:

What your Clothing Color says about you:

Interview Etiquette: