There Are No Dumb Questions Here”

How many times have you sat in an inter­view and swal­lowed a ques­tion out of fear it may be the dreaded “stupid ques­tion”?   Wouldn’t it be nice to run a few of those by an employer knowing there’s nothing at stake?  Just once?  Well, you may be in luck!

step brothersCopy­right: 2008 Columbia Pictures

Career Devel­op­ment has been offering the Employer in Res­i­dence pro­gram for sev­eral years, pro­viding stu­dents the oppor­tu­nity to meet with pro­fes­sionals in an informal set­ting. They are encour­aged to share their appre­hen­sions about inter­viewing, the job search process and posing those tricky ques­tions they aren’t sure are appro­priate to ask during a formal inter­view.   “It’s like a webinar in that stu­dents get infor­ma­tion without get­ting tested on it after­wards,” shares Ezra Schat­tner ’93, New York Life agent and cur­rent Employer in Res­i­dence.  “It’s fun for me when stu­dents come in and have some good ques­tions like, ‘I don’t know what to say when an employer asks me about a weak­ness.” (Tip: Repackage the ques­tion so ref­er­ences an area for devel­op­ment that com­ple­ments a strength)

When I’m inter­viewing a new can­di­date, I’m hiring for tech­nical skills, but I“m also hiring someone who can be a fit within the cul­ture of the group and com­pany.  I want a stu­dent to ask them­selves if they’re going to be in a posi­tion they’ll appre­ciate and grow in it.”

Thuy Le, recruiter for City Year, loves when stu­dents ask the “Day in the Life”  ques­tion, what moti­vates her every day and what chal­lenges exist in her role or at her orga­ni­za­tion.  “I remember attending net­working oppor­tu­ni­ties during my under­grad­uate years and feeling ner­vous about it.  ‘Net­working’ is often asso­ci­ated with being aggres­sive and being out of people’s com­fort zone.  I learned to under­stand that it’s simply having con­ver­sa­tions and obtaining as much infor­ma­tion as you can, and that employers want stu­dents to talk to them and ask ques­tions. I always try to paint a real­istic pic­ture of what their expe­ri­ence will be like in City Year, because like all employers, we want to find the right people who will be the best fit.  I would also encourage stu­dents to relax and be them­selves — we want to know the real you!”

Both Thuy and Ezra will be taking part in the Employer in Res­i­dence por­tion of the Senior Career Con­fer­ence as well as also hosting hours throughout the semester.  If you’re looking for another voice to assuage your con­cerns and dispel some of the mys­teries about the working world, head over to Stearns on Thursday, 1/​23 or check out the pro­gram­ming cal­endar for upcoming dates.  Match Edu­ca­tion, Peace Corps, Raytheon and Shawmut Design and Con­struc­tion will also be on campus throughout the semester so be sure to come on by!

Derek Cameron is a member of the Career Devel­op­ment Employer Rela­tions team and always looking for new ways to bring the employer’s voice to campus.