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Jul 31 / Carmen Gamlin

Needed: Interviewing Skills to Launch Your Career

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If you are going to work a job that requires a college degree, chances are you will have the opportunity to market your experience in an interview. Interviewing skills are not just for landing jobs. You will find yourself using these skills when you first meeting colleagues at your new employer or when you are applying to graduate schools. Even the brightest WSU Engineering students have to practice self-marketing or “selling” their experience for interviews. After all, there is a difference between getting a good grade on your project and telling an employer about what skills you developed from that experience.

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Recruiters believe that the best method to learn about how you will behave on the job is to have you describe your past experiences. This is called behavior based interviewing. You may be asked to “describe a time in which you took initiative to solve a problem” or “tell about a time when you handled a difficult situation/person”. The focused is not only what happened but how you think and work in these situations. This gets to the core of what type of employee you would be.

Just like you would in written correspondence, you clearly describe your topic, provide supporting details and end with a conclusion.

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One format for organizing your scenarios is the S.T.A.R Method. For each scenario, outline

  • Situation
  • Tasks
  • Action Steps
  • Results

Develop at least 6 – 10 scenarios in preparation for interviewing and practice, practice, practice.

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Most recruiters are taking notes on what you say during interviews. Your goal is to be concise when describing your experience.

For more resources in developing your interviewing skills, check out and select “Career Resources”.


You are welcome to attend the stop-in career counseling sessions. For times, call 313 577 3390.

If you are a WSU Engineering student in need of further support, then feel free to make an appointment with me in the Engineering Building by emailing me at or calling 313 577 8336.

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