Courtney Crosby and Kelly Ayers are your MPA Peer Career Consultants. They’ve successfully navigated the MPA recruiting process and want to help you do the same. Check out their posts here each week for valuable recruiting tips.
MPAs – As you start preparing for first round interviews, here are some things you want to do to ensure you stand out among the other candidates:
- Do your company research – Your interviewer does not want to get the sense that you would be equally satisfied with any internship offer. Company research will demonstrate that you are serious about that particular firm. You want to avoid conversations with company professionals that could apply to any other company, i.e. you could simply fill in the blank with another firm’s name.
- Develop thoughtful questions – The questions you ask the company representatives will allow you to learn more about that particular firm and how well you might fit in there. Coming up with thoughtful and creative questions is easier said than done, but dig deep. Research the service line you are applying for, and ask about things you don’t understand. Envision your ideal work environment, and find out if you would get to experience that at Company XYZ. The questions you ask may end up swaying your interviewer’s final decision, and the answers you receive may end up swaying yours.
- Review your own resume and experiences – I found it helpful to review all of my experiences, good and bad, to help me prepare for interview questions. This is a better use of time than rehearsing answers to common behavioral questions, because you never know what an interviewer is going to throw at you. You may have an insightful, polished answer to the question, “Tell me about a time you worked well with a team,” but what if the interviewer wants to hear about a time when you had conflict while working with a team? If you have a list of scenarios to mentally refer to, you will be able to adapt to any question with no hesitation.
Kelly and I will be offering you words of advice throughout your recruiting journey this semester, so be sure to check out our posts in the newsletter each week! And, as always, if you have any questions about recruiting and want to talk about how to prepare, please feel free to email us at [email protected] or come to our walk-in hours on Tuesday 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 – 5 p.m., Wednesday 9 – 11 a.m., and Thursday 11 a.m. – Noon. Until next week…good luck with the interview preparation! Submitted by Courtney Crosby