Thomas' Story: Two Days of Training, Two Interviews
After completing my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, I was invited to several interviews across the country. However, within a week or so of each interview, I received an e-mail or phone call thanking me for my time and telling me my qualifications were impressive, but that ultimately the company was choosing to continue with other applicants.
Having already been accepted to graduate school in mechanical engineering, my wife and I decided that continued education would benefit us in the long run.
When I completed my coursework and thesis, I had a lot of free time for job searching as I prepared for my oral defense. I again applied to a variety of companies (several of which I had previously applied to), but despite my top-notch grades, internship experience, and master’s degree, I still did not receive a job offer. My graduate adviser recommended that I seek out interview training. I met with a career counselor at the university, but didn’t feel like I gained any new skills, experience, or knowledge. He hashed over typical interview tips like, "Be confident" or "Think of responses to behavioral interview questions ahead of time." By then I had become rather cynical about the whole job searching process and occasionally expressed my frustration to my friends. On one occasion, the friend happened to be the employment specialist for his ward, and he suggested I visit the LDS Employment Resource Center.
The following Monday I went in to the employment center and met with some missionaries who recommended I attend the Career Workshop. I returned on Tuesday ready to learn. By the end of the first day I felt like I was miles ahead of where I had been before. On Wednesday, I came in a full suit ready for the mock interview. After completing the workshop, I felt significantly more confident about interviewing. Some of the most useful things I learned were power statements, “Me in 30 seconds” statements, what not to say, and the correct answer to questions like "What do you expect to be paid?" or "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"
Over the next five or six weeks, I spent time applying for jobs online and networking while finalizing my thesis and finishing up my school projects. The first weekend in July, my wife and I fasted and prayed that we would be able to find work and that the Lord would guide us to where we needed to be. Soon after, I was invited to two different interviews. The first was a technology company in Arizona I had found out about online and simply filled out the online application. The second was another technology company in Connecticut. I had been referred to it by a friend who worked there as an intern.
I received an official offer for full-time employment from both companies. The offers arrived within days of each other, so my new problem was deciding which of two excellent careers to pursue. After carefully considering the opportunities and praying about them, we decided to take the job in Connecticut.
We are very grateful for the inspired program offered through LDS Employment Resource Services. We know that we would not be where we are today without those two short days of training. Truly, we have been blessed beyond our capacity to receive.