How to manage CO-OP Interviews

If you have a co-op or internship built into your program like me, then you know the struggle of managing interviews while still in class fulltime, especially during finals week. I had 14 interviews within a two-week period. Some interviews were outside the city – where I had to take the train to get to, some were in, and some were on the phone. 

Image courtesy of rawpixel.

The Hardest Part

For me, the hardest part was coordinating schedules between everyone and getting them scheduled. Luckily, I had about a week to schedule the interviews before I actually had to go to them. I highly recommend planning ahead. To schedule most of mine, I had to contact them via email and not on the phone, so it could take a day or more to get the interview scheduled.

Organizing

With 14 interviews I was nervous that I would forget one, forget the name, or double-book myself along the way. First, I printed out a complete list with all the company names, the job position, and the contact person. I also had check boxes for scheduling, researching, going to the interview, and sending a thank you note. I relied on my google/apple calendar to guide me through the process of scheduling the interviews. I actually went old school and printed out the two weeks I had to go to the interviews. While scheduling, I hand wrote the times I offered to specific companies to make sure I was not offering the same time to multiple companies. After the scheduled time slot became finalized, I would input it into my digital calendar and could offer the unscheduled times to another company.

What I would do differently

I really wish I would have recapped each interview after I completed them. I have a basic idea of which companies I like and which I didn't, but I don’t have the specifics needed to specifically order my preferences. Next time, I plan to have a section for post-interview review on the list of companies I’m interviewing at, so I have better insight when decision time comes.