I need to take a step back and touch on a subject I overlooked. Interviewing is not a comfortable experience for anyone, which is why the Wisconsin School of Business and the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research offer extensive interview support. So far I’ve had the opportunity to mock interview with four companies, attend two interview workshops, participate in a case interview workshop and spend time informally talking to second years about interviews.
The mock interviews are a great experience. They mimic the real interview experience in every way. The interviews become available on eRecruiting (the school’s internal interview scheduler); you apply and receive an invitation. You’re offered a choice of interview times at the MBA Career Center. The actual interview is conducted with an actual employer; typically an alum or HR representative from local companies. My interviews lasted 30 minutes with 15 minutes for feedback. The interviewers are typically very experienced and offer great constructive feedback.
During the interview prep we heard a lot about the S.T.A.R. response framework. When responding to behavioral questions such as “tell me about a time when you…” we were told to first describe the situation, followed by the task, then the action we took, and the result.
The heaviest week of interviewing is behind us now. Most Nielsen Center students, by this point, have interviewed with at least seven individual companies. Companies typically offer second round interviews either by phone or in person. This year Amway, General Mills and dunnhumby are flying second round applicants to their headquarters for face-to-face interviews. Truthfully, it’s a stressful time. It’s a time rife with good news, bad news, excitement and disappointment. But it’s reassuring that there are more great internships than there are students. We will all wind up having wonderful summer experiences.