Two months left in my graduate career:
No upcoming interviews.
No security in knowing I had a job lined up after graduation.
I tried to remain calm.
"You’re a Graduate Assistant in Career Services; there is no need to worry. You got this."
No, I don’t.
Something needed to change.
I decided to put more effort into a resume and cover letter. A month before the date of my graduation, I received a phone call to schedule a phone interview. The following week, I nailed the phone interview!
My reward: A virtual interview.
"Virtual interview? Sounds easy. I got this."
The Virtual Interview
I went into the interview with little preparation. I knew what to expect. I got this! I answered all of their questions. I utilized something known as the S.T.A.R. method. Situation, Task, Action, and Results! The answer to all behavioral interview questions! I nailed it! I got this! I even followed up with emails featuring Thank You notes involving little effort. A couple of weeks later, I found out; I failed at the interview.
They decided not to move forward with my application. Felt beyond devastated. How could this be? What did I do wrong? My emotions were in the dumps all week. There had to be a reason for this outcome.I decided to swallow my pride and ask the Hiring Manager for some virtual interview critiques. She agreed to tell me the truth I needed to hear. She started with the good. She felt I dressed professionally. Answered the questions. Exhibited balanced confidence every time I responded to questions. I felt suitable for the moment. But I wanted to know the truth in how and why I failed at my first virtual interview.
Moments later, her analysis sounded like piercing bullet points;
1. Too scripted with your responses, especially with the behavioral interview questions.
They knew I worked in career services and wanted more authentic answers.
The questions I asked at the end of the interview lacked originality and came across as the typical questions to ask at the end of the interview.
2. Indicate you’ve done your homework about the organization.
She emphasized that I go beyond the mission statement. Indeed, do in-depth research on the people of the organization, and this can help with the more targeted questions.
3. Finally, treat the virtual interview with the importance of a regular interview.
If I can force myself to think this virtual interview is just as important as the real interview, my chances adequate preparation for this event increases.
Taking the time to visualize how this virtual interview will go can help create a better sense of urgency.
Take the time to practice doing a virtual interview with a colleague or friend.
I'll never forgot the lessons embedded in her critiques, and I became better at interviewing as a result.