This is a first-ever version of the Mock Interview experience at EPFL, and it is based upon the following principles: that you may indeed be invited to participate in a similar format at a Job Fair or conference; that when applying to an international company in particular, you will first be interviewed by a generalist, not a technical expert, R&D engineer or project chief (whom you will normally see during second interviews, on the company’s premises).
Therefore, students will be in pairs, with one playing the role of job candidate and one a company recruiter. Members of the Career Center staff and external experts will observe your performance and give direct feedback after the practice interview. Your partner will also share his or her impressions.
From experience, the combination of realistic circumstances, expert observation and advice, and preparing your arguments both in writing and during the interview, will assist you enormously in improving both your professional communication skills and therefore your confidence.
Both roles require preparation: the “Recruiters” will have to read a short company description as well as the “Candidate’s” CV prior to the session. S/he will also attend a 30-minute briefing by the facilitators prior to the start of each round of mock interviews. Candidates will need to research their target company in order to create a short “Motivation Message” and to prepare for the interview itself.
The companies listed below are used in a fictional sense only—while they all are committed employers of EPFL graduates, no members of their HR or technical staffs will participate in the event, nor will your CV be provided to them. This is a preparatory event dedicated to improving your soft skills in a job interview context.
The event will be held Thursday morning, 26 May 2016 in Room CE 1100. Participation is free, but requires preparation, goodwill and a willingness to help others improve their job-seeking skills, too.
Choice of Companies (and recommended majors for applying):
Environmental Sciences & Engineering
Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Materials Science & Engineering
Energy Management ;amp; Sustainability
Life Sciences & Technology
Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology
Molecular & Biological Chemistry
Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Computational Science & Engineering
NB: If your major does not appear above, please plan to participate in the traditional, one-on- one Mock Interviews before and after this event.
Rules of the Game:
First phase of registration must be made by May 2, 2016. All documents and confirmation of your participation must be made by 18 May 2016 (details to follow). Please check your calendars prior to signing up, and book the event into your calendar(s) as soon as you register.
Dress code: even at a startup or an e-giant like Google, as a candidate, you should not assume the right to dress casually. As a job candidate, the safest bet is to choose classical, conservative clothing which is comfortable but which shows your professionalism. If in doubt, contact the Career Center. Avoid having backpacks, rolling bags or too many layers (leave these with a friend or in a locker).
Documents: bring a copy of your CV, and letters of recommendation or work certificates, just as for a real interview. Be prepared to take notes during the interview, and during the feedback by the career expert which follows. Business cards are a plus.
Languages: for each session, 10 slots for FR, 10 for EN (may be adjusted according to demand; these are the maximum numbers). See below for Registration details.
Due to limited capacity, all participants must be at least in their third year of Bachelor’s studies or higher (up to PhD candidate; sorry, no Post-Doc’s).
Registration is a four-step process:
Sign up for the event by choosing your timeslot and language preference, sending a copy of your CV (with document title in this form: Fischer_S_CV_EN), and tell us your major and the company you chose.
- Each timeslot is limited to 20 participants, with up to half being in FR, half in EN:
- a. Round One (9:45-10:45) Welcome, Interview and Feedback
- b. Round Two (11:00-12:10) Welcome, Interview and Feedback
- c. HR Panel (immediately following Round Two): experts will give general observations and tips for how best to manage a successful job interview. Open to all participants in the two rounds.
- SORRY, REGISTRATIONS ARE CLOSESD!
- Forum team and CC select pairs, matching interests and languages whenever possible. Selection of experts vis-à-vis language of interviews will also be given a high priority.
- The 20 students selected as Candidates will be asked to send a motivation message (2-3 paragraphs) which states:
- a. Which company, department and location (when applicable) they want to work in;
- b. What job or role they feel best qualified for (look on Glassdoor, LinkedIn and the company’s website to find current and past openings)
- c. Three things they would contribute to the existing team/projects
- The other 20, selected as Recruiters, will receive the following documents at least 48 hours prior to the event, which they agree to use in their preparation. They will also be briefed in person just before the interview sessions.
- a. Company description with link(s) for further reading including an overview of activities,
- b. A copy of the CV and “Motivation Message” of their “Candidate,” annotated by the
- c. An interview form with standard HR questions and an evaluation grid to rate the company’s website to find current and past openings), facts and figures; Career Center; performance, attitude and presentation of the “Candidate.”
- All participants will receive a reminder by email about one week prior to the event, and must confirm their presence to retain their slot.
By participating in the session, you agree to the following:
- That all company names, job descriptions and “personnel” are used in a fictional sense within the context of job skills training;
- That all feedback and suggestions are the informed opinions of the expert(s) at hand, but which may vary from other input you receive on or off-campus;
- To commit to both the actual interview time and the necessary preparation;
- To show your motivation for joining the company in an authentic fashion;
- To give the organizers direct feedback about the event before leaving;
- To be filmed (still and/or video), and to waive any rights or restrictions for the images to be posted on the Forum site after the event (maximum duration of posting = last day of Forum 2016).
Your CV and “Motivation Message” will both be deleted within one week after the event. Please contact us with any questions or comments you may have.