Career Services to inform international students about US interviews

Blake Faith, Contributing Writer

International students struggling to adapt to American interviewing styles can learn more about it by attending Career Services’ Mastering the United States Interview Culture for International Students Wednesday.

One of this year’s goals for Career Services was to offer more events and information for international students at Eastern, said John Marr, employer relations specialist and career adviser. Those events, along with Mastering the United States Interview Culture for International Students, are aimed to help international students who may have different interview processes in their home countries, he said.

Career Services’ Wednesday workshop will discuss topics and questions about the United States interview process from beginning to finish, including the first steps to applying for a job, what United States companies’ expectations are for resumes, what student resumes should look like and how international students should word items on their resumes, Marr said.

Employers all over the world now conduct phone interviews, hold interviews in conventional or professional settings and even use a third party vendor to record interviewees answering questions to send to the company, he said.

“The interview screening ways are a whole different way for doing things, whether for international students or for students in general searching for jobs now,” Marr said. “This is to try and get students comfortable for these processes and what career services can provide to students.”

International students may find that interviews for temporary jobs in America consist of questions regarding dependability and general work ethic, but in interviews for long-term careers, the interview questions are mixed with behavioral questions, he said.

An example of a behavioral question may refer to how the interviewee will react in certain stressful job situations, Marr said.

Marr said the workshop can be effective in preparing international students for American interviews because it compares and contrasts the difference between the United States’ interview culture with that of other nations.

“The question is: ‘How do you change that difference?’ But I think that we’re not changing, but showing the difference between other cultures’ interviews and United States’ interviews,” he said.

Marr said he believes the workshop can help international students because it shows that Career Services is a great playing field to practice good interviewing skills. He said the goal after international students have attended the workshop is to go to interviews in the United States feeling confident in themselves.

“Interviews are not comfortable, and people get nervous,” Marr said. “Interviewing is a skill that is not easy to obtain, but here at Career Services, we offer mock interviews, workshops and practice that if students take the risk, they can obtain that skill.”

Marr said he would also encourage international students to ask plenty of questions at the workshop if they have any.

“I’m always encouraged when students ask questions because I am not an international student and haven’t worked in another country,” Marr said. “I think even our domestic students don’t know what questions will be asked, but they are a little more used to it.”

In the United States, employers expect the applicants to be confident in their interviews, but also assertive, he said.

Mastering the U.S. Interview Culture for International Students will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the Arcola-Tuscola Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, according to Eastern’s website.

Blake Faith can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].