Interview Preparation and Corresponding with Employers
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Interviews, from those conducted through on-campus recruiting to those over Skype, can be daunting. Let’s go through some tools for preparation to make sure you’re ready:
Corresponding with Employers
- Be courteous, prompt and concise with communication.
- Emails should be completely error free; they should also be polite and business-like.
- Respond to a communication from an employer quickly (do not allow for more than 24 hours to pass before getting back to them to at least acknowledge receipt of a message)
We are happy to review any emails you’re sending back and forth – email us at email@example.com explaining the situation and with your draft. We’ll get back to you with comments.
Before Your Interview
1. Do your research:
- Use LinkedIn to obtain background information on the person with whom you will be talking. Know his/her exact role in the company – use this information to develop more advanced understanding of their work, as well as questions to ask at the end. The hobbies/interests sections of their profile can also give you ways to connect during the interview.
- Review the company/organization website and social media pages to gather a picture of their mission, goals, values, and other important information.
- It is crucial that you have knowledge of the organization, the position, and how your skills match up before participating in an interview. Employers want to know not only that you can do the job, but that you are interested in the job and have thought about how this job might be different from similar positions.
2. Come in for a practice interview! Please note that practice interviews require preparation, and appointments need to be made at least 2 business days in advance!
- Case interviews are commonly used for consulting jobs and case questions are sometimes used for interviews in other fields such as marketing. It takes practice to answer these questions well – we’re happy to help you practice. Schedule a Practice Case Interview. Here are some case interview preparation resources:
- CQInteractive walks you through cases and brain teasers
- Websites for consulting firms often have prep materials (Ex., Bain, BCG, Deloitte, Mercer, McKinsey, Oliver Wyman, and PwC)
- Management Consulting Prep
- Victor Cheng’s book Case Interview Secrets and website
- Management Consulted - They have a "Free Resources" tab too
- Technical interviews are common for jobs in financial services and in computer science. Students can practice technical skills for CS interviews at sites like HackerRank, Pramp, LeetCode, or GeeksforGeeks.
3. Practice common questions on your own. Familiarize yourself with interview etiquette and also strategize for your answers! Read through our resource of FAQs; questions for you to ask employers; do’s and don’ts; and more.
4. Have a HireVue? Goldman Sachs has a great video that helps to demystify the process a bit and highlights a few key areas to focus on.
On-Campus Recruiting Information
- You must complete the required tutorial to gain eligibility to participate.
- Some employers participate in on-campus recruiting (OCR). It's important to put OCR into perspective — there are many career options for liberal arts students and only a sampling of employers can recruit on campus each year. The majority of recruiters are large, private sector employers who recruit for business-related positions. A few public-sector and mid-size employers also recruit each year. Approximately 20% of A&S job-seeking graduates get their jobs through OCR.
- Full-time, entry-level corporate and selected nonprofit and government jobs for seniors generally are posted in Handshake from late August to November, while corporate and government summer internships and competitive research or fellowships for juniors and sophomores usually are posted in Handshake shortly after that. See the Cornell Career Services website for more information about on-campus recruiting.
In addition to OCR, Arts & Sciences students can participates in the New York Recruiting Consortium (NYRC). NYRC is an off-campus program for A&S juniors and seniors that provides interviews for full-time employment and internships in consulting, education, finance, health services, legal services, medical research, nonprofits and publishing (employment areas are subject to change). Come chat with us on how to get involved, or see our page on this recruiting program.