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Interviewing

Interviews are a critical part of the hiring process. In addition to demonstrating your skills and fit for the job, the interview allows you to obtain information about the job and the organization to determine whether the job is right for you.

Employer interviews that are coordinated by our office are scheduled through McCormickConnect. Many of these interviews are invite only, so be sure to keep your resume up to date in McCormickConnect, apply for jobs you are interested in, and check for updates in McCormickConnect often.

interview days

Engineering Career Development hosts two McCormick Interview Days per year following the major engineering career fairs in the fall and winter quarters.

Interview days are held following the two major engineering career fairs:

Employers also host on-campus interviewing days throughout the year. Employers will typically select students who have applied to their job through McCormickConnect to interview on-campus. Occasionally, employers will have open sign-ups for interview days. Be sure to keep your resume up to date in McCormickConnect and apply for jobs you are interested in to increase your chances of getting an interview. 

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Mock Interviews

Several times a year, Engineering Career Development invites employers to participate in Mock Interview Days, which provide an opportunity for students to practice interviewing and develop key skills that will assist them during the interview process. You can also schedule an interview prep appointment with your career advisor, and after this required initial meeting, you can schedule a mock interview with your advisor.

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types of interviews

There are several different types of interviews you may encounter during your job search:

Phone Interviews

Phone interviews are often used as a first-round screening measure to determine who to invite for face-to-face interviews. During this time, recruiters will often ask about why you are interested in the position and company, as well as your skills and quaifications for the job.

Behavioral Interviews

Behavioral interviewing is based on the idea that past behavior and performance is a good predictor of future behavior and performance. The interviewer will typically ask questions that begin with:

  • “tell me about a time when you..."
  • “provide an example of..."
  • “discuss a recent situation in which..."

Because this is the most common interview format used by employers, you will need to develop a strategic approach. Your goal in responding to behavioral interview questions is to share specific experiences as they relate to the position for which you are applying. 

Technical Interviews

Technical interviews may take various forms, including programming, solving logic problems, or performing other technical tasks related to the position for which you are applying. As always, communicate clearly during the interview and don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand a question or problem posed.

Case Interviews

Case interviewing is a tool used by consulting firms to assess your skills and potential for a consulting position. Cases are usually scenario-based, problem-solving activities designed to uncover competencies along various dimensions. This style of interviewing requires you to work through business cases similar to those you may face as a consultant. 

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Resources

The Interviewing Guide section of the Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) Career Guide provides useful information on writing and formatting your cover letter.

In addition, you can review the following documents for information on the types of interviews you may encounter and how to improve your interviewing skills: