Useful tips for job interviews in the U.S.
So… Since I am graduating this May, I might as well do my best to get a job, right? I first searched a lot in Europe (except France), as I really wanted to go back there and be closer to my family and friends. But after a hundreds application sent and no answers or some negative ones, I gave up on Europe, and focused on the U.S.
I wanted to share some useful tips with you!
1. It’s going fast: I sent my resumé the night before or in the morning and got calls during the afternoon to set up an interview.
2. Be prepared to move: Most of the companies will ask you for a face-to-face interview, regardless of where you live.
3. Use sites such as: CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, Monster …
When it comes to the actual interview, here are some advices:
- Bring a printed copy of your resume to each of your interviews
- Dress business professional
- Don’t be late!
- Research information about the company: when was it founded? what does it do? what different services does it offer?
- Carefully read the job description and be sure to know what will be expected from you in order to be able to talk about your capabilities.
- 2 to 3 rounds interviews: Most companies I have been interviewed at asked me for a 1st, 2nd and even 3rd interview sometimes.
The first interviews I had lasted for about 15-20 mins; it was very fast.
The second interview is either a 45mins sit down or it is going on the field (in my case I was following an employee doing door-to-door marketing) with a different person and go through different questions.
The third interview that I had in one company was with yet another employee, who just asked me about my day and how I felt. I also had to answer a questionnaire about my day, some questions about myself, and about the company. He then asked the employee with whom I spent the day how I did and if he would recommend me, which will determine if they hire me or not.
Here are the questions that I constantly had at interviews:
- Tell me about yourself: generally I told them my study background and my last work experience.
- What motivates you? A good answer would include results, satisfaction, progression, money, power.
- How would you define success?
- What are your goals?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
- What is the difference between direct and indirect marketing? Pros and cons?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Have a look at this article on how to ace the interview.
The companies’ structure were similar. Basically, they were looking to fill entry-level positions in order to traine someone from the ground up. They want applicants to be able to learn everything there and to be trained within a year in order to be able to independently manage offices elsewhere. That is why having a student mentality is also important here! Ask a lot of questions!
Optional Training Program
For International Students, in order to be able to legally work in the U.S. and since you have a F-1 student visa, you will need to apply for an OPT.
- It lasts for 12 months
- You need to find a job directly related to your studies
- It costs $380
- You do not need to have a job to apply for an OPT, you can still be looking for one when applying
- Try to apply as soon as you can
After your OPT time is expired, you will need to ask the company is they are willing to sponsor you for a work visa. If you do a great job, they will definitely do it!
Do you guys have do’s and don’ts for interviews to share?
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