CIA partners with Career Services to conduct interviews

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Camille Pecha
Contributing Writer

CIA recruiters will be on campus on Feb. 7 to administer mock interviews to 16 students. The interviews aim to groom and train the students, who will be provided with immediate, professional feedback on their performance.

Following the interviews, the recruiters will give two student presentations in Gorman A, one at 3:30 p.m. and the other at 6:30 p.m. Career Services Director Julie Janik, who organized the event, calls it “a great courtesy the CIA extends to our students,” a valuable opportunity which will likely become a yearly event.

Yet the improvement of students’ interview skills is not the sole aim of the event. Such visits provide companies with a way to build relationships with talented students they intend to recruit upon graduation. It puts the companies in a unique position to improve these students’ skill sets and résumés and to generate interest in their company.

For example, when the FBI recruiters visited last year, they gave students step-by-step instructions for how to make themselves qualified for particular positions in the FBI. The CIA recruiters aim to hire students as well. On the day after the mock interviews, they will be conducting real interviews for positions in the agency with some of the same students they will have mock-interviewed the day before.

While the mock interview portion of the visit is a bit unusual, the CIA’s method of recruitment is fairly typical for UD. Unlike larger schools, UD simply does not have enough students to make traditional job fairs worthwhile for companies. So instead, Career Services sets up info sessions and arranges on-campus interviews with students.

Janik explains that this method focuses on relationship-building: The recruiters build relationships with the students as well as with Career Services employees. Janik said that at this point, if she contacted the CIA with a student in mind, they would listen; they trust her.

Janik explained that the method is especially effective for UD because it enables recruiters to see UD students as the articulate, educated group that they are. According to Janik, one FBI recruiter remarked with pleasant surprise that at UD, instead of the silence he normally encounters at the end of a presentation, he was met with a volley of analytical, streamlined questions.

Janik remarked that one of the main internal goals of Career Services is to bring to campus as many desirable employers as possible, especially those employers whose values align with those of UD.

While the mock-interview slots have already been filled, the presentations will be open to all students. Students interested in a real interview should send a résumé to jjanik@udallas.edu before Jan. 30.

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