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Setting up interviews to use as "practice"

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Setting up interviews to use as "practice" [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2009, 17:01
Wow, the way I wrote the subject makes it seem so dirty.

But anyway, what are people's opinions on setting up interviews with companies that aren't at the top of your list and using them to practice your interview skills?

I got this suggestion from an MBA friend. He said "Try and get a few interviews with companies that aren't your top pick first. That way, if you really suck, you don't kill your chances to get your dream job."

I think interviewing with a company that you have no interest at all to work for is a pretty crappy thing to do to both the company and the students who are genuinely interested in working for them.

However, if, for example, you had a geographical preference to work on the west coast, so you signed up for interviews with companies in the same industry but on the east coast, it doesn't seem quite as bad. The east coast companies aren't your first pick, but you never know what might be offered.

Is there any value to that?

Is it still a crappy thing to do?

Discuss!

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Re: Setting up interviews to use as "practice" [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2009, 17:16
My only objection is that IF the interview slots are LIMITED, then you are taking away a valuable interview slot away from others who are REALLY interested in that company.

It's kinda like someone with super stats (*cough* zoinnk ) and background applying to EVERY single school in top 25 and get admits, and then hold onto those admits to the very end for no reason whatsoever. In the meantime, those admits could have went to others who really wants them.

I think bschool clubs and career offices offer plenty of chances to practice interview skills and etc. There's no need to attend company interview for practice purposes. :wink:

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Re: Setting up interviews to use as "practice" [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2009, 19:57
Ha I totally did that in undergrad. Funny thing is, the job I currently have now, I got as a result of the "practice" interview.

In all seriousness though, I think you could probably do it in bschool if you wanted to. With the way the economy is though, I can imagine your future classmates being pretty sensitive to your using coveted interview spots for practice. I'd utilize the various student clubs instead. That way, you preserve your rep (ie don't get labeled "that tool using interview spots for practice") and get practice...
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Re: Setting up interviews to use as "practice" [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2009, 20:08
isa wrote:
Ha I totally did that in undergrad. Funny thing is, the job I currently have now, I got as a result of the "practice" interview.


I did that in undergrad too. Not to get practice interviews, but just to apply as many as I can and go to all the interviews so I can get multiple offers.

:oops: :oops: :oops:

I felt guilty about it because I think I got 16 first round interview invites and because of interview time/date overlapping, I canceled like 5 of them. Needless to say, those slots could have went to other people. I deserve negative kudos for that.....

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Re: Setting up interviews to use as "practice" [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2009, 05:52
Don't most career services offices offer mock interviews? That way you get to practice interviewing without taking slots from your classmates.
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Re: Setting up interviews to use as "practice" [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2009, 10:03
Like Jerz said, I think most schools would offer practice interviews. I can't speak for everyone, but I know IU does these rapid fire interviews where you interview back to back to back to back with other students (who may have been hiring managers themselves at one point) and faculty. The point being to try and fluster you and prepare you for an actual interview. If you go through that a few times, I think you'd have a solid base for almost any interview, plus you get feedback from a variety of people. So if all 4 or 5 people tell you that you talk too fast, then you know it's something you should work on. All the current students I have talked to said they love it for the prep it gives them. Scheduling practice interviews for real jobs probably isn't necessary if your school does something like this.
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Re: Setting up interviews to use as "practice" [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2009, 03:58
If these companies are of interest to you, even remotely, I don't think it is wrong.

In my undergrad, I have made the mistake to interview with my top choices right away (did not really have a choice...) and I could not really practice much. So i would not worry, especially at the beginning when you really don't know who is going to make you an offer...
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Re: Setting up interviews to use as "practice" [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2009, 07:41
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This type of behavior is really frowned on since basically you are screwing your classmates...its a good way to get classmates to think less of you if that is why you are doing an interview. If you are somewhat interested and its a plan C thats one thing and people might find it annoying but that is pretty common. A lot of big companies come and interview 12-24 people, some are super popular with lots of people and you may be taking an interview slot from someone whose dream is to have that job. If you arent interested in working for a company and know if you got anything else you would never ever take that job...then do not drop a resume and cover letter for it.

That said, at Kellogg there are these is "first come-first serve" this means after bidding for open list spots if there are any spots still available they get posted. There is a certain time these come out and if you are right on it, then you definitely can pick up one of these spots. The first few rounds usually has a few of companies get posted. No one will ever complain about you taking one of these.

A way to ensure some of these companies if a school has open lists you can bid on those...if it is only going to be practice its in poor taste to bid high since that means the company is popular and plenty of people really want to work there. At Kellogg can bid 0 points and it gets you on the list and if not enough people bid points then you can get a spot. Its the same as "first come-first serve" in my opinion because no one can complain about you interviewing if you only bid 0.

Alright now that you know what is the more socially acceptable ways of getting real life practice interviews, personally I see absolutely NO reason to do that. Clubs do interview prep, 2nd years are more than willing to help, classmates (some of whom interviewed lots of people in the past) will help you, and of course there are video taped mock interviews. The video taped mocks are great practice since not only do you practice your answers to questions but you can watch your body language. Personally 2nd years and clubs are one of the best resources, some do a better job. Honestly, I think sometimes the biggest advantage of a school in their recruiting for specific things is the strength of those clubs. I heard how great of a job our MC club does in prepping people. If a school has an amazing rep in a field, some of that is probably directly related to the club, students, and how well they prepare their people.
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Re: Setting up interviews to use as "practice" [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2009, 07:51
riverripper wrote:
I heard how great of a job our MC club does in prepping people.


Though I am a mere admitted student at this point, I second rivers assertion that the MC club at Kellogg is fantastic (based on the encounters I had during DAK as well as taking a look at the club website). I definately think the MC club has a large part to play in Kelloggs outstanding track record in placing prospective consultants in the top firms.
Re: Setting up interviews to use as "practice"   [#permalink] 19 Mar 2009, 07:51
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