The essential (and often forgotten) key to crushing an interview

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Here are a few questions you will never be asked at a job interview or networking event:

  1. What is N if 2.4N=96?
  2. Who was the author of The Scarlet Letter? To what genre does this classic piece of literature belong? How was it received by the public? How do you think it would be received by the public if it were published today? How does this book fit within its historical context? And just to make sure you were reading…what letter of the alphabet is the scarlet letter? 
  3. True or False: Carbon is the most common element on earth by mass.

Here are a few questions you very likely will be asked:

  1. What did you learn from the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
  2. Tell me about a time when you challenged an assumption. What was the result?
  3. Which three personal strengths do you rely on most in your life?

The answers to questions like these don’t come from school.

Or from textbooks. 

And they absolutely cannot be found in Power Points. 

Answers to questions like these come from life, from experiences that challenge you, engage and inspire you, and push the boundaries of your comfort zone.

Not to say that your degree doesn't matter....it absolutely does. But employers do not care if you can recite a journal article back to them or rattle off all the factoids you learned from lectures. 

They want to know if you can apply the lessons for your degree outside the walls of the classroom - that you've drawn connections between what you've learned and why it matters

The point? Interview prep starts by getting experience. The more of it you can gather, and the more meaning you draw from it through reflection, the richer your interview responses will be. You'll have stories and insights that are uniquely yours....making you stand out from every other candidate.

Join a club; take on increasingly challenging roles each semester. Connect to "real" professionals in the fields that interest you, and build relationships with them. Turn social time into networking time. There are tons of ways to get experience; choose the flavor that works for you.