Our whole guide is relevant to the interview process and some of the more important parts include when students start planning/preparing for interviews and how they should prepare for these interviews. My personal opinion is to start preparing once you hear that you have an interview. Many people spend time preparing for interviews before they know they have them and other people spend no time at all. I always needed a deadline to motivate me, which is why I suggest preparing for an interview only a week or two out.
Another important part is the preparation that goes into an interview. I had to put a lot of time and effort into an interview, and I was able to do this efficiently because of all the resources that are available. I went to the Career Center multiple times for mock interviews and resume reviews.
There are many things that I wish I knew before interviewing. I wish I knew what questions to ask an interviewer. There would always be time at the end of an interview and I would ask the typical questions, “What is a typical day?”, “What has been your career path?”, or “What was your favorite project that you’ve worked on?” Most interviewers responded with positive remarks, but I felt like some where unengaged in the answers.
Another piece of advice I wish I knew was that the first interview should not be for the job that you want. I ended up having a lot of interviews my junior year, and by the third interview, I was very comfortable in an interview and felt that I was finally performing well. An issue was that I really liked some of the companies that I interviewed with in the first three interviews, but they were not my best interviews.
The last piece of information I wish I had known was how much outside projects are counted for in a heavily programming related position. There were many positions that I didn’t even apply for because a Github profile was required. I did not have anything on my Github profile that made me a standout, and I have not contributed to open source projects. I had plenty of opportunity to work on projects, but never found anything that I was that passionate about outside of class.
Yes, colleges should adjust their curriculum or at least provide more support for professional life. With all the resources available, it is possible to be completely fine without adjusting the curriculum, but there are still times when students do not feel prepared in the professional world, which should not happen with all of the preparation (aka college) that we have been doing. I completely agree that college is a place to learn, but most of the time people go to college to get a job. Therefore, I believe that college should be a place that also prepares people for negotiations, interviews, and whatever else is necessary to know in the world after college.
There are many different paths that ND could take. One option is having a class or classes dedicated for professional experience. The department could make a one credit class for coding interviews, a one credit for negotiations, and a one credit for miscellaneous. Another option would be adding this to the curriculum of a class already. This means that in Data Structures (or another core class), there would be lectures and homework on coding interviews. A final option that is plausible is having the department put on workshops about these topics for students. This would allow students to decide if they want to be part in gaining professional knowledge or not.