Sophomores: It’s time to get QUIC!

Let me paint this picture for you….

It’s the day of the Fisher Fall Career Fair, 2015. Your top 3 dream companies, Amazon, L Brands, and Target are all clamoring to speak with you. With your 3.8 GPA, loads of extracurricular involvement, and part-time work experience, any company would be lucky to have you, and to interview you.

But when they inquire about setting up an on-campus interview, you regretfully inform them that you are not ‘QUIC’ and can’t sign up. They frown in disappointment.

Then you say, “It’s okay, you can make an exception for me.

But the recruiter says “Sorry, if you haven’t made the time to spruce up your interviewing skills, we’ll save this spot for other students. Better luck next time.”

Demi_screamDon’t let this happen to you.

Your sophomore year is the perfect time to get QUIC! You have a year of coursework, work experience, and general adulthood under your belt. You have things to talk about now. You can have stimulating, intellectual conversations with adults now. You go, you.

The Office of Career Management recommends conducting your QUIC interview during your sophomore year. How exactly “quick” is QUIC, you ask????

Here, we’ve broken down the QUIC process into 6 simple steps:

STEP 1: Get admitted to your major with the Fisher College of Business.

Applications to a major in Fisher are accepted twice a year by the Undergraduate Programs and Advising Office, September and January, and take up to 3 months to process.

STEP 2: Polish your resume.

There is a lot of good information on resumes on the Office of Career Management website (go to Undergraduate Students and Handouts for the Job Search.) If you would like additional assistance, come to Gerlach 150 and consult with a career coach during walk-in hours, or call (292-6024) to make an appointment with a career consultant. You must bring your final resume to your QUIC interview. Make sure your most current resume is uploaded into FisherConnect.

STEP 3: Register and upload your resume on FisherConnect.

Go to Fisher Career Management website and click on FisherConnect on the left side menu.Go to the Student Login section. Log in using your OSU name.# and your first-time password is your birth month/year (for example, if you were born in July of 1993, your password would be 071993). You may change your Password later, at any time, in your profile.Complete the registration profile and upload your resume. IT IS IMPORTANT TO COMPLETE THIS STEP BEFORE GOING TO STEP #4.

STEP 4: Complete the online modules on CARMEN.

On CARMEN, under “My Courses” under “Special, Business Administration”, click on Career Management: QUIC Modules. There are 5 modules with a quiz at the end of each. When you have completed all five modules [which will take one hour, on average, to complete,] you will have a better understanding of the services we provide, know how the FisherConnect system works, and understand the FisherConnect policies.

STEP 5: Schedule, Prepare for, and Pass a QUIC interview.

You should be able to sign up for a QUIC interview within two weeks. You will schedule your QUIC interview through FisherConnect. When you sign up for the interview, a company name will be assigned to the schedule. You will be expected to research the company. QUIC interviews will be 1 hour long, and will be conducted by a staff member of the Career Management team. More information on preparing for QUIC interviews is provided in Module 5 on Carmen.

STEP 6: Start using FisherConnect to search for a job or internship!

Resume submission deadlines for on-campus interviews typically end 3 to 4 weeks before the interviews. There is no on-campus recruiting during Summer term. Again, please see the modules for further details on using FisherConnect to your advantage.

Good Luck!

What does it mean to have “clammy” hands?

The first thing I do when coming out to our lobby to get a student for their QUIC interview is offer my hand up for a handshake. “Hi, I’m Audra!”

In business, a handshake can say so many things about you. The handshake needs to be firm (not death-grip firm, but firm) and with confidence and purpose.

One thing that need not be included in your handshake?? Clammy hands.

Clammy hands, also known as sweaty palms, are a common occurrence with interviewees. Their nerves get the best of them, and those nerves can manifest through hand perspiration. But don’t worry – it happens to the best of us!!!

An easy tip? Shortly before your scheduled interview time, simply (but thoroughly) wipe the backs and front of your hands on your pants. It is better to have your nervous perspiration on your own pants than on the recruiter’s hands. For obvious reasons.

What’s your competitive advantage?

I find myself saying the same thing over and over again during the feedback portion of QUIC interviews:

“Well, dear student, all of this information is great. But what sets YOU apart from every other business student in this College? In Ohio? In the country? In the WORLD?!?!?”

Ok, I might not get that dramatic. But I do challenge students to GO BEYOND the typical interview fare and look within themselves to find what makes them great. What in the world are you the best at? What is a quality you have that the next guy/gal in line doesn’t have? What are the qualities that people constantly tell you you possess (even if you don’t always recognize it)?

The truth is, these qualities don’t have to be profound, earth-shattering, or life-changing. You don’t have to rescue babies from runaway trains to possess great time-management and critical thinking skills. But the whole point of an interview is to differentiate yourself from your competition. For example, everyone can claim they are hardworking, but how are YOU hardworking? Do you work 40 hours per week, play intramural soccer, maintain a healthy (and safe) social life, all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA with only 3 cups of coffee per day? My word, you ARE a superhero!

Everyone, and I do mean everyone, can come up with at least three strengths that are unique, valuable, and relatable to your chosen career field. If you are struggling to come up with these qualities, stop in the Office of Career Management and set up an appointment with a career consultant. We can help you find your competitive advantage. Even if we have to drag it out of you.

Notes from the trenches: Self-Awareness

I recently conducted a QUIC interview with a young man who left an interesting impression on me. When I came out to the lobby to collect him for his interview, my first impression of him was the he was standoffish. He had short, one-worded responses, didn’t smile, and overall I couldn’t tell if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed, didn’t eat his Wheaties, or was just a grumpy Gus.

Then the interview began, and this young man’s demeanor completely changed. It was like he secretly slugged a can of Red Bull when my back was turned. He was perky, engaging, interesting, and I was genuinely interested in hearing more about him.

Cue to the end of the interview, and once we were no longer “in character,” Grumpy Gus was back.

Because part of the QUIC interview process is to point out things you might not even realize you do (i.e. saying the word ‘like’, clicking your pen, tapping your fingers on the table), I felt obliged to tell this young man how he came across both before and after the interview, and how it altered my perception of him. He commented back that he’s been told this many times in his life, and I certainly wasn’t the first.

This is an example of self-awareness. For those of you who maybe aren’t aware (haha, the irony), self-awareness, in a nutshell, is the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. What this means in terms of interviewing is that you have to be aware of your strengths, weaknesses, triggers, and nuances so that you can you can appear in the interview to be a realistic combination of humble and confident. Able but flexible. Assertive not aggressive. Sounds almost possible right? Nah, not really. Just be yourself. Be the best you.

And how do you be the best you? By being self-aware. This is why the QUIC interview process is so helpful. Sometimes we are so focused on giving the right answer that we neglect to give the answer that’s right for us. It’s been proven time and again that the most memorable and successful interview answers are the ones that are genuine. A made-up answer may work sometimes, but it’s more likely to sound fake (because it is) and won’t leave a lasting impression on the recruiter.

For Grumpy Gus,  since he was very well-aware that he could turn on the charm during the interview, I advised him to make sure that he turned on this charm from minute one. As soon as he walks through the door to a company, he has to have the same enthusiasm he showed during the interview itself, and not to turn it back off until he is safely within the confines of his vehicle and away from company property. I was only conducting a mock interview, but if this had been the real deal, I definitely would have reservations about hiring a candidate that seemed grumpy one minute and happy the next. Employers like predictability, and being two completely different personalities in an interview can backfire.

So to all you Grumpy Gus’s, pen clickers, and “Um, like”ers out there – use constructive criticism to your advantage! The candidates who are self-aware are usually the first to take accountability for their actions, can communicate effectively, and overall are considered more likeable, aka hireable.

If you have no idea where you stand on the self-awareness front, just for fun, here is an online test that rates your level of self-awareness in various settings.

How Fisher Prepared me for Success: Part I

This is part of a series of blog entries that will be detailing how the Fisher College of Business prepared me for my internship with KPMG.  Fisher prepared me very well and I want to make sure that the programs and people that have helped me get all the credit that they deserve.

Interviews can be intimidating.  If you have already been in an interview situation before, I am sure you can remember the stress and anxiety that built up before that first interview.  You’re faced with many different thoughts and concerns including:

“What is a typical interview like?”

“What if my interviewer asks a question I don’t know the answer to?”

“Should I wear my lucky Mickey Mouse/Scooby Doo/Pokemon tie to the interview?”

“What if the interviewer is a Michigan fan?”

Fortunately, as a student of the Fisher College of Business, you will have the opportunity to participate in the QUIC Program and have all of the questions above, as well as your interview related questions answered.   After completing web-based modules that include information on how to best prepare for an interview and how to use FisherConnect, Fisher’s online job and internship listing database, you will sit down with a member of Career Services and take part in a mock interview.  This is a great time to get those interview jitters out of the way and get feedback on what you do well and what you could improve in terms of your interviewing skills.  Career Services will also give you guidance on the dress code (You’ll want to leave the Pokemon ties at home, sorry) as well as the general logistics of an interview process.

I definitely feel that the QUIC Program enabled me to get an internship with KPMG as I was able to improve my interview skills with help from Career Services and was much more confident during my interviews knowing I had completed the program.

Here are a couple tips for interviewing that I have found helpful:

  • Try to meet with the company’s recruiter or interviewer before your interview, as this will cut down on your stress level. This can be done very easily at the career fairs held on campus.  Also, I know from experience that the accounting firms I interviewed with had “Pre-Nights”, which are events held the evening before interviews to give students a chance to interact with the recruiting team and other employees.  Also, many recruiters will have office hours on campus.  Career Services can help you out to determine if the company you are interested in working for has office hours on campus.
  • Find out as much as you can about the company you are interviewing with. This should include going beyond the company’s website and looking for current news about the company.  Another great resource to find out information about the company is to seek out current or former employees.  Ask your friends and members of student organizations that you belong to about the company.  You just may find out that someone you know, or a friend of a friend knows the recruiter or HR contact and you can make a personal connection that way.