Preparing for Career Fairs and Interviews: Leveraging your Experiences


By: Katie Southon SCS Advising Leader

With the first career fair of the semester starts, it can feel like the pressure is on to secure an internship or a job for the summer. To prepare effectively for future career fairs and interviews, it’s important to focus on leveraging your experiences to effectively communicate how you fit the role; even if your experiences don’t align exactly with the job description.

If you have previous internship experience, great! You already have experience with the interview process and with industry. Brush up on what you did and the value you added as they will likely be a large focus of your interviews.

If not, don’t stress. Recruiters understand that you are a student beginning your career journey and may not have industry experience yet. Use your background to craft a unique story that emphasizes your relevant work history to help recruiters get to know you.

Have you held a job in the past, even if it didn’t pertain directly to your degree? Highlight the responsibilities and roles that you took on in the position instead of the specific task. Interviewers are looking to see how you manage your workload, handle leadership, and communicate with others.

Everyone has had academic experiences, which can also transfer to industry environments. For chemical engineering students, cross-curricular design projects mimic an internship experience: speak to their emphasis on problem solving, teamwork and task delegation, and your individual role in the team. For chemistry students, explain your experiences in the lab, the equipment you are familiar with, and the group projects you have worked on.

No matter how you got your experience, conveying your strengths to a future employer is vital in securing an offer. If you want to practice communicating your skills and experiences as they relate to the job you want, schedule an appointment with SCS career services through your Handshake account. The SCS career services team is there to support you by strengthening your resume, facilitating mock interviews, or providing assistance in finding opportunities that set you up to achieve your goals. Reach out early to maximize your potential!