By Salma Siddiqui
On Friday, I had an interview with XYZ Company for a Talent Acquisition Internship. XYZ company was my number one choice for a summer internship and I had been doing as much as I could to make sure that I was at least granted an interview. The first step I took was to apply to the position on line. Then, I introduced myself to them at the Career Fair on campus in January and told him that I had applied to the position. I sent him an email and reminded him that we had met and that I had applied to the position online. I connected with the recruiter on LinkedIn and noticed that he viewed my profile several times.
In February, XYZ Company was at the Internship Mixer so I met another of their recruiters, told her that I had met with another recruiter in January and that I was still interested in the position. This recruiter had a particularly long line so I had to be brief but convey that I was highly interested and that I had taken initiative to secure the position. We exchanged contact information and I connected with her on LinkedIn and sent her an e-mail with the information that I had applied to the position and that I was interested in working for XYZ.
Two weeks went by after the Internship Mixer without word. I knew that XYZ had a high volume of applicants for the position so I had, frankly, given up. Another week went by and I had started to hunt for other internships. However, I still made sure that I was in the recruiters’ minds by looking at their LinkedIn to give them the notification that I am looking.
Finally, I received a call from the recruiter for an interview! I accepted and then immediately scheduled a mock interview with Career Services. The Career Consultant gave me great advice and encouraged me to show off my skills instead of being modest. He prompted me with questions about my greatest skills and weaknesses and asked me about situations in the workplace where I found great difficulty. He also gave me fashion advice about wearing a business suit and minimizing my accessories to small pearl earrings.
I felt prepared when I went to the interview. I had updated copies of my resume and a confidence from the mock interview. I was interviewed by four people at once! They asked me all kinds of questions about why I wanted to work for XYZ, where else I had applied, and if I had any weird skills (I’m an adept pen-spinner). The Career Consultant advised me about what questions to ask the recruiter so I asked all of them why they liked their jobs. One recruiter was strangely rude to me, which was a bit daunting.
After I left the interview, I emailed each of them individually with a personal message thanking them for their time. The weekend passed. Then Monday. It was 4:55 pm on Tuesday before I heard back from the recruiter, who offered me the position. I was jubilant! I accepted immediately and celebrated.
I was extremely grateful to Career Services for doing the practice interview with me, as well as for organizing the events where I could meet the company and remind them of my application as well. I felt very accomplished having obtained the position over the other hundreds of applicants. I truly feel that if I had just applied online with no follow-up and no other initiative, I would have been one of the many in the stack of resumes in the recruiter’s inbox. Instead, I am now XYZ’s new Talent Acquisition intern and I couldn’t be happier!