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Career Services

How can I get started?

Contact your career services office for more information:

Begin building skill sets early! Here are a few suggestions:

Participating in any one of these activities will help you build valuable skill sets needed for your future job or internship search. Employers will be looking for transferable skills when interviewing potential candidates for positions. What are transferable skills? They are any skill you have developed through any type of activity that you want to apply to your next job. Some examples of transferable skills are:

  • Leadership; speaking effectively; writing concisely; teamwork/building interpersonal relationships; listening; expressing ideas; gathering, analyzing and reporting information; managing people; training people; time management; taking initiative; research; organizational; problem solving; presenting; teaching; strong work ethic, etc.

It is important to develop these skills so that during interviews you will have something to discuss and concrete examples to share. A new trend in recruiting is a form of interviewing called behavioral interviewing. Behavioral interviewing is based on a philosophy that past performance can predict future behavior. Now in many interviews, interviewees will be asked many situational questions, for example, “Tell me about a time when you…” The interviewers are expecting that each student will have a specific example of the type of situation they are asking about.

When you are asked questions in an interview, it is important to know yourself and your background. Make a list of your skills and work-related characteristics. Update it regularly. Use the CAR format when answering questions and giving specific examples.

  • C: Circumstance – Describe the circumstance, situation or task you were performing
  • A: Action – Describe the action you took
  • R: Result – Describe the results (quote, quantify, pinpoint a change in time)

What are some of the employment challenges you will encounter in your job/internship search?

Know that some employers – specifically federal government agencies and defense contractors – may be restricted by law to hiring only U.S. citizens. Although you may be an excellent candidate, you will not be able to persuade an employer in this category to ignore legal restrictions and hire you.

Do you know what employment options your immigration status allows?

It is very important for you to be aware of the legalities of your immigration status and your visa type. You should be prepared to explain to an interviewer that it is easy to hire an international student for a co-op or internship opportunity. As a candidate, it is your goal to make it easy for an employer to decide to hire you. Many interviewers may be unfamiliar with hiring international students, so knowing how the process works will help you calm their concerns. Employers may not know that OIA will handle the necessary immigration paperwork, therefore making it fairly simple to hire co-ops and interns who follow the proper procedures.

Interviewing Tips for U.S. and International Firms

There are several major differences found between job interviews in the United States and job interviews in foreign countries.

Interview with a U.S. CompanyInterview with an International Company
Be punctual. Arrive 10-15 minutes prior to appointment. Be punctual.
Eye contact is expected and shows confidence. Eye contact, especially with persons of higher status, may be disrespectful.
Interviewer styles vary. May begin with direct questions or minimal small talk. Interviewers commonly start with small talk and look for information regarding character or personality.
Interviewer may do most of the talking or may expect the candidate to do most of the talking. Interviewer may talk for the majority of the interview.
Questions regarding age, race, sex, and marital status are illegal. Age, race, sex, or marital status may be issues in the interview. Males may be expected to dominate interactions with females. Younger people may be expected to show deference to older people.
Expect direct questions regarding competency, experience. Expect indirect questions regarding competency, experience.
An open discussion of accomplishments and skills shows confidence. Citing accomplishments and skills might be considered boastful, self-serving, or too individualistic.
Show clear self-knowledge, career goals, and long-term plans. NOTE: An international student may find it important to be flexible, however, to initially obtain employment. Jobs may be assigned by government or family. Questioning one's role in a company may be seen as disloyal. Companies sometimes assign work and expect individuals to accept what is available.
Interviewer may expect immediate competency and look at each new employee for a two- to five-year commitment. Interviewer may not expect immediate competence and instead be looking for a long-term employee.
Self-disclosure of strengths, weaknesses, personality, leadership style, problem-solving abilities, etc. may be appropriate.  
Researching the organization and demonstrating that knowledge during the interview is expected. Shows initiative and interest. Researching an organization in advance may show too much initiative and independence.
It is acceptable to ask an employer at the close of the interview where they are in the interview process and when the candidate can expect to hear back from them. Asking an employer during an interview where they are in the interview process and when you can expect to hear back from them may be seen as too forward.
Inquiring about the status of an application after the interview is acceptable and demonstrates interest in the position. Inquiring about the status of an application after the interview may be seen as rude.  

Source: Caprice Lantz, NACE, naceweb.com

How can you obtain home country employment?

If you are interested in a co-op, internship, or full time employment in your home country, there are several ways to identify companies.

  • Ask for a copy of Job Choices at your Career Services office. Job Choices is a magazine published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and lists U.S. companies who are looking to hire international students for home country employment.
  • Contact your country's consulate to request a list of American companies that do business in your home country and a list of home country companies who do business in the U.S., since these companies are likely to be very interested in you.
  • Visit your career center for assistance in writing an application letter and resume to send to potential companies.

Helpful Websites

International Job Search Resources

Government and Immigration Information

Work Opportunities

Corporate Information

International Resources

Campus Resources

Be sure to visit your Ohio State career center. These offices are excellent places for gathering additional resources in the job/internship search process.