If you’ve ever had an interview, you know that candidates are usually interviewed using their resume as a guide for the interviewer to ask some guided questions about your involvement. However, what about campus involvements that you may not have put on your resume? Or, maybe it’s an interview where the interview is not using the traditional method of interviewing. Whatever the case is, there are a few ways to bring up your involvement without having to force it into a conversation.
First, make sure that you prepare correctly for any interview by recalling what involvements you may want to mention and thinking of several different ways you could pitch said involvement. Do this by having several statements regarding each involvement that highlights a different skill that the involvement taught you or an impact you were able to make. For example, if you’re in an investing club on campus, make sure that you have multiple angles from which you can approach talking about the involvement. Such as being able to talk about any of the events the club may have held in the community, your personal leadership and organization skills resulting from the club, or some specific goals that either you or the club was able to reach. For example, a great interview is one where the interview truly feels like a conversation and transitions are seamless. By preparing several different ways to possibly redirect the conversation toward that involvement, you are increasing the likelihood of being able to do it naturally.
Next, when you’re at the interview, you will likely get asked some behavioral questions such as “Can you describe a time where you had to work alongside a team?” so those are always opportunities in which you can talk about your involvements. Remember that quality really trumps quantity when it comes to involvement – don’t feel like you have to mention a new involvement for every question. In fact, continuously using the same involvement but explaining different aspects of it throughout the interview shows passion and a depth that employers definitely want to see.
If you’re not asked many behavioral questions, wait until the end of the interview and ask your interviewer an open-ended question about their education and how it led them to the career path that they have today. This is a great way to connect with your interviewer personally and then relate back to them by bringing up your own campus involvement. For example, you could ask the interviewer what campus involvements or clubs they would recommend that you pursue to gain more relevant experience for the role you are interviewing for. For a real estate position, you would likely get the answer of finding out more about a real estate club so that you know more about how to conduct market research. To that, you can always say that while you haven’t had much experience conducting real estate market research, your other clubs are heavily focused on market research for investments. Hopefully, that sparks more conversation!
Just remember while you are doing this to keep an eye on the time and to be conscientious about when your interviewer looks like they would like to wrap up the interview. You want to read those cues to make sure that you are not going over time or annoying the interviewer for the sake of mentioning another club that you are in. Best of luck!