Interviews & Job Offers
Prepare for the Interview
Put your best foot forward by preparing for the job interview. Follow these steps:
- Develop your “elevator pitch,” a concise introductory message about your professional self. It should define your skill sets, experience, and career hopes for the future. Your message should take about 60 seconds to deliver, the time it would take you to ride an elevator. Access the Elevator Pitch Career Tipsheet.
- Research your perspective employer using CDC Resources, the Gordon Library, Chambers of Commerce , corporate literature, career fairs, corporate information sessions, business newspapers and magazines and internet resources.
- Professional Interview Attire - find both male and female appropriate attire including accessories and physical appearance guidelines (or suggestions)
- Understand the interview process – The Job Interview provides you and the employer an opportunity to discuss your qualifications and to determine if a match with a position and the company can be made. As much as the interviewer wants to assess who you are and your qualifications, you also need to be doing the same. Access the Interview Process Career Tipsheet for more ways to prepare, what to bring and wear, questions you may be asked and more.
- Set up a Mock Interview with a CDC Staff Member – A CDC staff member will interview and videotape you and provide constructive feedback on how to improve your interviewing techniques. Contact the CDC.
Glassdoor holds a growing database of 6 million company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, office photos and more. Unlike other jobs sites, all of this information is entirely shared by those who know a company best — the employees.
You Got a Job Offer, Now What?
Once you receive a job offer, you need to evaluate the job, salary and benefits to determine if it is the right fit for you. You also want to compare it to other offers. Download the Understanding Job Offers and Negotiations Career Tipsheet that offers advice on knowing your worth and negotiating, accepting or declining the offer.
Can You Change Your Mind About a Job After You’ve Accepted?
After interviews with several top companies, you accept a job offer from Corporation A to begin a week after graduation. Then, XYZ Startup, a company that just began recruiting new college grads, interviews you and offers you a job to begin a week after graduation.
You want to work for XYZ Startup—but what will you do about the job you’ve accepted at Corporation A?
No big deal? Companies hire and fire people all the time, you think. You’ll just let Corporation A know that you’ve changed your mind.
Before you pick up the phone to renege on your job with Corporation A, consider this:
- The job you accepted with Corporation A may have been someone else’s “dream job.” By accepting the job, you’ve taken that opportunity out of the job market.
- Telling Corporation A that you’re not going to show up for work may have an impact on your future career.
- Backing out on the job you’ve accepted may hurt the future job prospects of other students and alumni at your school.
What Happens to the Job When You Renege?
Many times a renege comes at the tail-end of the college recruitment season—April and May.
- The position may go unfilled and the budget set aside for that position may be allocated for other purposes.
- One job lost to the college job market. Final hiring numbers are lower for the employer, which may affect the company’s hiring numbers next year. (Meaning, fewer job opportunities for future new grads.)
- The now-disappointed (and frustrated) employer may choose to not interview students or new grads again.
Your Choice Today May Ruin Your Choices Tomorrow
Truth: Some employers keep a running list of names of students who renege after they’ve accepted a job offer—a “do not call” list. Even without a list, recruiters will remember you.
If you are offered a job, it’s because you stand out in the crowd of applicants. The recruiter and hiring manager see and hear your name over and over during the interview and hiring process—in e-mails, on your resume, and in discussions with other employees.
Someday, you may want a job at Corporation A. Or, you may run into the same recruiter at a different organization where you want to work. Plus, recruiters talk to each other about students who back out on a job acceptance.
And, even if you seem to have a good reason for reneging on the acceptance—“personal reasons” or “to travel abroad”—your profile on LinkedIn will show that you’ve lied when you list the job you take.
Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.