Post # 1
My husband is finishing up his junior year and working towards a degree in management information systems. He’s been applying for summer internships this past year and has been on a couple of interviews but has yet to have any job offers. He has a high GPA ~3.75 and he currently works in a internet help desk type position that’s not that relevant to his job. He’s finishing up his first Java and SQL classes this semester and will be taking more in the summer. I am just surprised at how many interviews he’s had but no job offers. He’s been applying to things he qualifies for. I just feel really hopeless and I know he feels worse than me.
Do any bees have tips on how he can get more relevant experience or get a paid internship or anything?
Post # 2
lilek22: Honestly, it is a really tough, competitive market, especially for entry level/internship positions. My husband applied to 20+ jobs and had about 6 interviews before he got his current job.
Post # 3
Maybe some public speaking practice if he isn’t excelling in the interview? He could find a toastmaster’s group or something. I would ask the people he interviewed with if they have any advice too. But yeah, it’s a very competitive market so it may just take more time.
Post # 4
The big issue with MIS type internships is that there are some seriously overqualified cantidates applying to them. You mentioned that your husband just finished his first Database (SQL) course, and his first JAVA class (does he know other languages?), he is competeing against other students who may have years of programming and Data base administration experience. Personally I have hired 8 interns n the last 4 years for Software/IS type positions, and every one of them has been overqualified. While the job description is looking for someone with relevant course work we always find atleast one cantidate with significant experience. In fact it is pretty common for us to get interns who have more experience then our new hires do.
As for what he can do, have him practice interviewing. If he is not already familiar with STAR questions and exactly how to structure his answer then he should read up on it, this format is very popular these days. Other than that just keep applying. Consider looking on Craigslist or other local job listings for smaller companies.
Post # 5
lilek22: Hmmm… It looks like his resume and credentials are getting him in the door as he IS getting interviews. However, the lack of offers makes me think that he needs to polish up his interviewing skills.
If I were you, I would set up mock interviews with him. Go online, and find the toughest questions that recruiters/HR managers ask, and make sure he has smooth answers for them. Also make sure that he can stand behind and thoroughly explain every responsibility listed on his resume. Also check his body language – does he come off as confident (but not cocky) or shy/scared? That’s another big one. And lastly, make sure he knows how to reasonably engage in small talk. Interviews are very political – the HR managers look at how you interact with others and whether your personality woudl be a good fit. If you have two candidates with the same skill set/background, expectations, etc., and one is personable and comfortable talking with others, while the other one is aloof, quiet, and seems insecure – the personable one will most likely get the offer.
Post # 6
Does his school have a career center? Career counselors can give him mock interviews and some suggestions on how to improve his interview skills.
Post # 7
lilek22: Definitely interview prep! Most colleges have a career center or something that will do practice interviews with you.
FI is in law school and had 2 internship interviews for his 1L summer job, both paid (which is very rare for first year law students). He was offered 1 and made it to the final round for the other. He was really worried going into them, because he didn’t feel his technical skills were up to par (he wants to be an IP/patent attorney). After both interviews, he was told that his personality and his people skills really made pushed him over the top. Even with the job he didn’t get, his interviewers told him that, on a personal level, he really clicked with their team and they would love to interview him again next year. My point is, personality matters! It’s not just about having the skills and experience.
I’m not saying your FI has a crappy personality, btw, I’m just saying that a lot of people (myself included) get so nervous at job interviews that they have a really hard time being themselves. And as someone who has been on the hiring side of things, liking someone on a personal level and being able to see that they’d work well with the team you already have in place is key!
Good luck to your FI!!
Post # 8
Hey all, thanks for the advice! He got his first internship offer yesterday. We’re very excited because its more than a summer internship and it pays twice what he’s earning now. I am just so glad he got his foot in the door, and now he can finally start getting some of that experience that all the employers are looking for!