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Prepare for Interviews

Preparing for an interview is more than pressing your suit and practicing your interview answers.  Many students forget the most important part of preparation -- researching the company.  McCombs School of Business recruiters have indicated that students who know more in depth information about the company are those candidates who obtain second round interview invitations. 

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, employers will actively participate in BBA Career Services events and programs. Connect with employers and learn more about the companies and the professional opportunities available to students.  A great way to get to know employers and prepare for interviews is to participate in Career Week events, including the Undergraduate Career Expo.

Conduct Research

Industry Research

  • What do businesses within this industry do?
  • What are the products or services offered by this industry?
  • What are the different sectors of business in this industry (public, private, etc.)?
  • Is there a specific location that is booming for this industry?
  • Who are the major players within this industry? Where are they located?
  • Are there any emerging companies?
  • What skills are desired in potential candidates in this industry?
  • What does it take to be successful in this industry?

Company Research

Informational interviews are another great resource for obtaining useful information.

  • General company information, founding, headquarters, size, competitors, stock information, product information
  • What is the history of the company?
  • Who are on the company leadership team? Any recent changes?
  • What is the company business and how is it structured? What are the various departments and what does each do?
  • Are there any major news stories or upcoming trends in this company?

Helpful Tip:  Become Immersed In

  • Industry Jargon
  • Current News and Events
  • Industry Trends
  • Major Changes That May Affect the Industry
  • Professional Organizations

Resources

BBA Career Planning and Recruiting Guide

The BBA Career Planning and Recruiting Guide will serve as a helpful resource as you update your resume, apply for an internship or full-time position, seek opportunities to network with employers, prepare for interviews, or conduct employer follow-up. 

Resume Writing

Consult the Resume Writing guide for an introduction to resumes, information on types of resumes, Texas BBA resume guidelines, steps and tips for building your resume, formatting tips, and action verbs by topic. Remember to utilize the BBA Resume Template. For On-Campus Recruiting (OCR), Texas BBA students must use the BBA Resume format. If you haven't already done so, update your resume with summer 2013 internships or work, as well as make any updates related to your fall 2013 work and leadership activities.

On-Campus Recruiting (OCR)

Refer to the On-Campus Recruiting guide for helpful information on creating your account in the On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) System, uploading and editing resumes and cover letters, searching for internships and full-time jobs, OCR tips, applying for positions in OCR (On-Campus Interviews and Resume Collections), scheduling interviews in OCR, employer profiles, events/workshops/career fairs, and the OCR calendar. 

Business Attire

Don't forget to wear the appropriate attire to the networking session, career fair, dinner, or interview. The Business Attire guide will help you decide what to wear. Consult the guide for details on: types of business attire (business professional, business casual, and casual), what NOT to wear, do's and don'ts for accessories, general grooming tips and instructions for tying a tie.

Networking Strategies

Learn more about effective networking, and check out the Networking Strategies guide. The guide includes helpful information on: identifying networking opportunities, utilizing networking tools, informational interviews, networking lists, how to work a room, 60-second introduction, and maintaining your network.

Company Research

When preparing for an interview, remember one of the most important steps -- conducting company and industry research! Prepare for your interviews and use the Company Research guide as a resource.  Refer to the guide for information on topics to research, resources (print and online), and questions to consider.

Job Search Correspondence (Cover letters, Thank you emails/cards, etc.)

Use the Job Search Correspondence guide as a reference on corresponding with employers, cover letters, thank you emails, correspondence related to internship or job offers, and professional references list.  

Interviewing Techniques

Reference the Interviewing Techniques guide for helpful guidance about On-Campus Interviews,  McCombs Career Services Code of Ethics, how to prepare for an interview, components of an interview, types of interviews, information for during the interview, answering behavioral interview questions, typical questions, handling unacceptable questions, questions to ask, closing the interview, and general interviewing tips.

Phone Interviews

Reserving a Landline/Room

A landline and a room can be reserved in the Ford Career Center interview suites located in GSB 4.114. Recruitment Services will provide a landline phone (for local calls* only) and an outside room to a student who needs a quiet place and a phone for interviewing purposes only (speaking to a recruiter about salary, benefits, etc. is also considered a part of the interviewing process). These rooms may also be used for web-based video interviews. Ethernet cables to connect to the LAN line are available for use by request.

Use the following information to reserve a landline:

  • The rooms reserved for phone calls, whether by cell or landline phone, are located outside of the interview suites along the wall by the Reliant Productivity Center (Rooms A-D). Please keep in mind that during peak recruiting times, these rooms may not be available. In these instances, students will be referred to his or her respective career services office.
  • Recruitment Services requests that students make a reservation at least one day in advance. However, employers may request a last minute interview. Accommodations will be provided based on availability.
  • Students will need to provide their name, the name of the company that they will be interviewing with, and the length of time required for the interview (1.5 hour maximum).
  • If a student needs to make a reservation, he or she should call (512) 232-3770 or come by the front desk of the interview suites (GSB 4.114).

*Local calls are outgoing calls made to any number with the (512) area code. Ford Career Center landlines will only accept incoming long distance calls but cannot be used to make outgoing long distance calls. If you have a phone interviews scheduled with an employer outside the (512) area code, ask for the phone number from Ford Career Center when reserving a landline and request the employer to contact you at that number.

Phone Interviews Guide

See the Phone Interviews Guide for more information regarding preparing for a phone interview.

Case Interviews

Case interviews tap into your problem-solving, analytical, strategic and logic skills. You're challenged to think on your feet in a time-sensitive and pressured situation. It's an interactive process. Your interviewer will present you with a business problem and ask for your opinion. You'll need to ask the interviewer logical questions that will help you to make a detailed recommendation. The interviewer is looking for an analytical and creative thought-process. Case interview questions typically include analysis of the industry, market expansion, profitability improvement and/or market sizing/brain teaser questions. Case questions and case interviews are most common for students interviewing with consulting firms, but there have been an increase in case questions in the technology and communication industries as well as other industries.

How Do I Prepare?

Case interview success requires EXTENSIVE practice. Students who have participated in case interviewing suggest practicing many cases prior to your first interview, so start as early as possible. Get involved in case competitions on campus, attend case workshops offered by firms who conduct case interviews, utilize CQ Interactive (see Case Questions - available on MOR) and find partners with whom you can practice cases. See the BBA Career Services Case Interviewing Guide and meet with a Career Coach to discuss more resources for prepping for case interviews.

Employer Sites With Case Interview Preparation

Other Resources For Case Interview Preparation:

Attend Information Sessions and Night Priors

Information Sessions

Throughout the academic year, companies planning to interview on-campus may host an information session. The sessions typically include a company presentation and networking session. This is a great opportunity to get face time with employers. Fall 2013 information sessions begin on August 28. Check the OCR calendar for a listing of upcoming information sessions.

Night Priors

Night Priors are closed sessions intended for candidates who have been selected and scheduled to interview with a particular company interviews. The Night Prior allows interview candidates to further prepare for the interview and to have their questions addressed prior to the interview.