This Friday, UMBC will be having the spring 2023 Career & Internship Fair in Catonsville. I actually just got offered and accepted an internship this Wednesday, but I still plan on attending the event to work on my networking skills. And although I credit getting my internship to a lot of luck, it was also thanks to my preparation for the interviews. So, today I thought it would be a great idea to share how I prepared for the interview and plan on preparing for the career fair!
Preparing for the interviews:
1) The first thing I did was prepare answers to general questions the interviewer might ask. I used this Indeed page and followed the suggested tips. It is also important to memorize your resume. Know it like the back of your hand. Most, if not all, interviews start off with you giving a 30-second summary of your resume.
2) I recorded myself answering these questions. Knowing your strengths when it comes to interviewing is essential, and practicing with video is the easiest way to figure out these strengths. Typical interviews last 30 minutes, so it is also an excellent way to check if you are saying too much or too little. By watching my recording, I learned I used the filler words “like” and ‘um’ too often.
3) I wrote a “cheat sheet” of my answers to these questions. Thankfully, my interviews were over zoom, allowing me to keep my “cheat sheet” in front of me. When I couldn’t remember my prepared response, I quickly gazed down to jump-start my memory.
Preparing for the Career & Internship Fair:
1) Setting out my outfit. Your first impression might be your only one, so it is always best to dress appropriately. I am going with the simple choice of matching pants and a blazer with a white dress shirt.
2) Reviewing my 30-second pitch. There will be a lot of people attending this fair, as with any fair regarding internships. Lines will quickly form for the more popular companies, so it is vital to be concise and clear when you finally get your chance to talk.
3) Review which companies you want to talk to. Thankfully, the UMBC fair has listed all the companies attending the event. Knowing which companies you want to work for will save you a lot of time at the fair and give you the opportunity to speak with as many of them as possible.
4) Printing 10-15 resumes. Talking to the companies is great, but you’ll quickly be forgotten if they don’t know your experience or have a paper to remember you by. Leaving your resume gives you a chance to get your foot in the door for internships, and companies can mark your resume if they find you an ideal candidate.
I hope these tips are helpful. I’d love to hear if you end up using any of these or if you too will be attending the fair.