Not sure how to learn about potential career fields?
Start setting up informational interviews!
What are informational interviews?
They are formal conversations you set up with people who are in one of your fields of interest. During these meetings, you will have the opportunity to ask a professional questions about their job and their career, and gain insights into their industry. You can use informational interviews as a tool to explore many different careers!
How should you go about setting an informational interview up?
1. Identify people who have exciting jobs!
Ask parents, friends, professors, and others for people who are in jobs you are considering.
Use LinkedIn to network and find people who you might want to talk to. A good group to join is “UVM Career Connection.” This is a group that gathers members of the UVM community around career development.
2. Schedule the interview
You can use e-mail, LinkedIn, or the phone to connect with the person you’d like to have participate in an informational interview.
3. Prepare for the interview
Make sure to research the person’s company and field so you can tailor your questions and your conversation in order to make the most out of the time you two have.
Once you are at the interview, try to relax and enjoy the conversation. Be ready to ask questions and take notes. However, be sure not to ask for a job during the interview. Remember this should not be a stressful meeting. It should be a way for you to obtain occupational information and further your career exploration.
After your interview, be sure to send thank you notes within a day or two.
To learn more about any of these tips and find examples of communications to professionals of interest and sample questions to ask, visit the Career Center website.
The UVM Job Fairs are over for this academic year. Whether you attended the fair or not, here are your next steps on the journey to gain career experience:
If you attended the fair:
Send a simple email thank you to employers you met.
Assess what you learned about your interests and skills and what employers are looking for to set a direction for your next steps. Identify your priorities and a list of organizations you want to pursue.
Complete the Job Fair survey on Catamount Job Link to assist the Career Center’s plans for next year’s events.
If you missed the fair:
Opportunities to gain career experience are on-going! Use job search information to assess where you are and the resources available.
Bigger is Better! This is the biggest Job Fair in UVM’s history! 124 organizations are coming to campus to meet YOU. It is the closest you will get to someone knocking on your door with an opportunity! Come talk to people who are hiring and learn about their work culture and opportunities.
Now IS the Right Time: You don’t need to be a graduating senior to come to the fair! Come now! Wherever you are in your studies, learn about what is out there and what employers are looking for in top candidates.
Find Hidden Jobs 80% of jobs aren’t publically advertised. How can you find them? You talk with people! People are coming to campus hoping to meet good applicants for jobs and internships. Don’t disappoint them!
Practice! Nervous about talking with employers? The best way to be less nervous is to practice, practice, practice. Each time you introduce yourself and ask a question, you’ll get more comfortable and relaxed.
Smile! Need a professional photo for your LinkedIn profile? We will be taking photos and emailing them to you. Make sure your presentation on LinkedIn is professional as you use it to network with people in your fields of interest.
See you at the Spring Job Fair on Wednesday, March 19, 2-5pm.
Davis Center, 4th Floor.
How to Interview like a Pro: Tips from a Local Recruiter
For most people, an interview creates a lot of stress and anxiety—it is an intimidating way to make a great first impression. For most employers though, the goal of inviting an applicant in for an interview is to get to know them. It’s a meeting based around discovery. We want to know who you are and if you could successfully fit in with the culture of our organization, the position, and the department. We also want you to ask questions that can help you make a decision about whether our company is the right place for you.
Quick tips for standing out & having a successful interview:
Dress for the job you’re applying for. It’s okay to ask what the dress code is when you’re scheduling the interview.
Make eye contact, smile, and shake the interviewer’s hand.
Bring a few copies of your resume with you to the interview.
If you have a samples of something that relates to the position you’re applying for, have it on hand (i.e. for a graphic design position, bring some of your design work).
Don’t over-think things. Trying to perfect every sentence comes off as robotic.
Be natural and be yourself; it is okay to smile and laugh! We can sense when an applicant is putting on a façade.
Work experience and qualifications are important, but they’re not everything. We’re trying to find someone who “fits” in with the department and the company as a whole. Try to find something in common with the interviewer and make an emotional connection.
As the interview wraps up, ask what the next steps are. In most instances, recruiters are happy to let you know where they are in the hiring process and when you should expect to hear back.
~Myra Fundis, UVM ‘11
Human Resources Wellness Specialist with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
Whether you are going through the interview process for a first time or fiftieth time, the interview is an intimidating process. As a student and active job seeker, I have found interviews to be the most troublesome. Not knowing what lies on the other side of the door or phone call is the scariest part for me. Also, I am not entirely sure about how to “sell myself” or answer some simple questions. Luckily, the Career Center at UVM helps with these questions, how to dress and even how to behave. I have a few short tips that help me with my job process.
Personally, I always have a problem with “selling myself” because I believe it is not my place to judge my performance. Since I am a Mechanical Engineering major, I have chosen to bring CAD drawings, MATLAB scripts, and various class projects along with extra copies of my resume to show and verify skills from job descriptions. Clearly everyone will not be able to bring these specific items to an employer, but consider similar project work to demonstrate your industry’s skills.
Another valuable technique involves practicing responses to possible questions in order to see what types of responses interviewers are expecting. Big Interview is a resource that allows you to follow video tutorials and read articles to prepare for your interview, as well as allowing you to practice interviewing by recording your responses to general and industry-specific questions. These recordings can be saved for personal and/or professional feedback. A sample recording I prepared can be seen below:
One more option, the Career Center website, provides information on general interview preparation. Additionally, you can schedule mock interviews or review Big Interview recordings in an appointment with a career counselor.