Interviewing is an extremely important part of the Co-op experience. Interviewing is the way that you get your assignment. Our office can only take you so far by giving recommendations and information about you to companies. You must complete the process by selling the best version of yourself to the company.
With any company that is interviewing you, whether it is for a Co-op position or an actual job after graduation, it is important that you have researched the company. You need to be familiar with what the company does and its values. You can easily research companies by using the Internet or by stopping by the Engineering Professional Practice program at 161 Zeanah Engineering Complex. We have information on companies that students have provided from their Co-op assignment, and you are welcome to come and look through them to get a sense of how the company might fit your overall goals.
If you are worried about answering the questions or about the interviewing process in general, remember that like anything, interviewing is a skill that can be perfected with practice. The Co-op Engineering Program hosts workshops that can help you develop this skill throughout the semester. For the dates and times of these workshops, refer to the Calendar of Events. If you feel that you need more practice with interviewing, Career Services, located at 201 Student Union, provides workshops as well as mock interviews that allow you to practice in a professional setting. In addition, there are numerous books available that can offer you advice or will give you common questions asked in interviews so that you can get a sense of what may be asked. These books are available in the conference room of the Engineering Professional Practice program, and you are welcome to come and peruse through them at your leisure.
For face-to-face interviews, you will be in direct contact with representatives from that company. In these interviews, you are not just being judged on how you answer the questions, but you are also judged on your mannerisms, dress, professionalism, and poise. It is important to remember that you only get one chance to make a first impression, so strive to make it a good one. Dress in these interviews is strict business attire, which is the following:
Clothing Suggestions for Men**:
- Clean shaven or neatly trimmed beards and mustaches and very little to no cologne
- Suit or jacket and a necktie that has a conservative pattern and ends mid-belt
- Socks should be a dark color and should match the suit
- Clean, trimmed fingernails
Clothing Suggestions for Women**:
- Knee-length skirt suits or pants suits in conservative colors (black, navy, grey, etc.)
- Low-heeled, closed-toe dress shoes
- Hosiery at or near skin color (with no runs)
- Minimal makeup and very little to no perfume
- No colored fingernail polish
** Source: University of Georgia Career Center Interview Packet (2004), p. 5**
With phone interviews, it is not crucial that you adhere to strict business attire, but it is important that you conduct yourself in a professional manner. Avoid using slang and speak with confidence. Make sure you are in a quiet environment with no distractions. Keep your resume in front of you and know what your resume says so that you can speak of examples and can elaborate on them. Always answer the question asked and stay focused on the primary subject.