Posted by Kelsey Johnson, Career Services Career Assistant, and OSU Senior

He practices.  And so should you!
He practices. And so should you!

Anxiety and excitement are common human experiences.  Often they go hand in hand.  Whether it’s preparing for a date or for a big game, there’s a desire to impress and/or live up to one’s potential. Interviews work in much the same manner. Typically, if a student is preparing for an interview, it means that their initial contact with the employer, grad panel, or supervisor (via networking, cover letter, resume, etc) has succeeded in sparking an interest in what else they may have to offer.  Therefore, being able to communicate your skills, abilities, and experiences in a professional and timely manner is important for winning over potential managers.  Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it sounds.  Still, many students believe they can walk into an interview and “wow” any employer, just by being their normal “fabulous” selves. Well, news flash! Unless you are Bill Gates (and you don’t need a job), the chances of anyone “wowing” an employer without preparation is pretty slim, especially in today’s competitive job market.  As the old but true cliché goes: you play like you practice.  So come down and practice!

Career Services offers mock interviews which can focus on a variety of student goals.  Whether you’re interviewing for grad school, an internship, or your dream job, we’ll work with you one-on-one to make sure you don’t sell yourself short.  Mock interviews can last from 20 minutes to an hour and typically involve common questions asked by employers, such as “Tell me about yourself”, “What is your greatest strength/weakness?”, “Do you feel your grades accurately represent your abilities? Why or Why Not?”, and numerous others. We also provide various help sheets that give quick tips for different interview types and/or settings.  In addition, we provide a list of common questions to ask employers as well as tips for follow-up interviews and thank you notes. So don’t be shy. Come on by and make an appointment to ensure your interview success.  541-737-4085

Posted by Rachel Erickson, Career Services Career Assistant and OSU Undergraduate

People interviewingFor many people, interviews can be a stressful experience.  We would all love to walk into an interview, ace it, and leave the room feeling sure we’d landed the job.  But the truth is that you must prepare, because perfect interviews do not just happen.  You may have all the qualifications and experiences the company wants, but that is not enough.  An interviewer will be critiquing you on more than what you say.

Here are a few helpful Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing:

  • Do dress the part for the job
  • Do research the company and the position you are interviewing for
  • Do a practice run with a friend or make an appointment for a MOCK interview at Career Services
  • Do make eye contact
  • Don’t rely on your application or resume to sell you
  • Don’t act like you would take any job
  • Don’t say anything negative about former supervisors or employers
  • Don’t answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no”

For more information on these suggestions and more Do’s and Don’ts visit

Remember, you are interviewing the company just like they are interviewing you.  Go into the interview prepared with questions you would like to know about the company.  For example “How would you describe your company’s culture” or “What do you enjoy the most about working for this company?” will give you an idea of what it is like to work for that company.

NonprofitExpoPosted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

Are you looking for opportunities to gain professional experience and contribute to the mission of a non-profit organization?  Then there’s good news for you!  The annual Non-Profit and Volunteer Expo is coming up later this month, on January 28th.  This year’s event is co-sponsored by Career Services and OSU’s Community Service Center.

So…why attend the Non-Profit and Volunteer Expo?  A few reasons…

  • You need professional experience!  You may not realize it, but volunteer work is a wonderful way to gain valuable working experience.  There will be MANY organizations present for you to begin talking to!
  • You want to make a difference.  Non-profits offer fabulous opportunities to satisfy that social justice advocate inside you, or your need to make the world a better place!
  • Networking.  Non-profits are also employers, folks…here’s your opportunity to begin the networking process for that internship or job you’ve been looking for.
  • Interested in a program like the Peace Corps, Americorps, or Teach for America?  We’ll have a panel of past participants to answer all your burning questions.

Stay tuned on our Non-Profit and Volunteer Expo Webpage for more details about the event, such as the organizations who will be attending, as well as the workshops and events being held throughout the day.

textbooks-main_FullPosted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

As a counselor over in Career Services, I talk with students almost every day who need to declare a major, or who want to change majors.  Generally speaking, students have a major or two in mind when they come to see me.  And often the first question out of their mouth is…What can I do with this major?  What jobs correspond with this major out in the real world?

It’s a legitimate question.  But it’s a tough one too, because it’s not uncommon for people to find satisfaction in a job that doesn’t seem directly related to their college major.  There are certainly exceptions, but Major does NOT always equal Career.

So where to begin?  If you’re considering a specific major, start by researching the course curriculum.  This may seem obvious, but people often skip this step.  And think about it–if you take a look at the course requirements and it looks hideous in your eyes, you’re not going to want to spend 4 years studying it.  Choose a major that you can see yourself studying…and perhaps even enjoying.  If you’re interested in your major, chances are you’ll find it easier and more fulfilling–leaving you extra time and energy to pursue the hands-on experiences or internships that will make you truly marketable by the time you graduate.

Obviously, this isn’t the only consideration when choosing a major.  But it’s a place to start.  Here’s a link to all the majors at Oregon State…click a few, and navigate your way through the department websites to find the undergraduate course curriculum for your chosen degree.  Does it look appealing?  Then you’re one step closer to choosing a major.

dating-13452Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

I say it to students all the time.  Finding a job is kind of like….dating.  Think about it.  You’re trying to impress someone, but you don’t want to seem overbearing and arrogant.  You want to show someone that you know a little something about them….without seeming creepy.  You want to highlight the fact that you’re a match made in heaven.  Employer or love interest…it’s pretty similar.

Now, perhaps you’re reading this and thinking…”Great, I’m not so suave at the dating…there’s no hope of a job!”  But fear not!  Follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll come off like a pro in the job search.  But sorry, we can’t make any promises when it comes to your love life.

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

business-schoolYes, we’ve heard.  The economy is less-than-stellar these days.  Maybe you’re struggling a bit with the job search.  You wouldn’t be alone if you are.  But we promise…there are jobs out there.

However, many students are considering graduate school in light of our economic woes.  The decision to attend grad school may be a great option for you, but it’s important to consider whether it’s the right fit–for any program.  But let’s take MBA school for starters.  An MBA may be a logical and really advantageous step, but it also might not be.  Check out this helpful list of considerations when you’re making the decision.

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

Do you have an interview coming up?  If so, good for you!  But are you ready?  Chances are, you’re planning to prepare some answers to the typical questions.  You know, “Why are you interested in this position?” and “What’s your greatest strength?”  But did you know there are other types of interviews as well?  The traditional interview is just one type, and it’s important to know what type of interview you’re walking into.  And once you do…practice, practice, practice!

This article walks you through 5 different types of interviews, with great info on how you should handle each one.

Don't be this guy.
Don't be this guy.

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

green-leaf-largeUnless you’ve been hiding under a mossy Oregonian rock, you’ve probably heard the word “sustainability” any one of a hundred times over the past year.  We’re lucky to live in a state where sustainability efforts are cutting edge.  Passionate people are out there doing amazing work…do you want to join them?

“Green jobs” are certainly a positive career direction these days, but just because it’s a newer (and growing) field doesn’t mean you don’t have to do your homework.  Start by checking out this great website on Green Jobs.

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

resumeYes, I know…it’s the winter break.  You’re supposed to be relaxing.  And really…that’s important.  But if you find that you’ve got just a little more time on your hands than you need, why not break out the resume and polish it up?  If you’re interested in a summer internship, it’s time to start looking it over.

Start by watching this great video on “resume basics”, and make sure you’re following all the resume rules.  Then take a second look at your resume, and check to make sure you haven’t made any of these common errors.

Happy editing, and happy holidays!