Dear Huddie

Dear Huddie: The Job Interview “Rules”

February 21, 2014

Back for installment 28 of Dear Huddie – is there an engineer out there who could make something to force all storms to the ocean?

That’s funny from the internet…. The dating world is not always easy from an engineering point of view!

engineer dating
Dear Huddie,

I just started my last semester of college, and interviews are starting. We have a mix of on-campus and off-campus interviews, and I am trying to follow all the ‘rules’ to finding a job. Can you shed some light on some of these rules? For example, I have an interview at a plant later this month, should I really drive there before the interview day? Seems silly, with GPS I should be fine.

I understand, I am sure you are getting advice from friends, relatives, mom, dad, and the list goes on. I will say, each person giving advice is only trying to help. In this case, yes, be familiar with where you are going – even if it means an extra drive the day or two before. Last thing you want is to be white knuckling on the steering will on the way to an interview – especially in the engineering fields. I get numerous emails about experience and how most jobs want experience, yet new graduates have a hard time getting that experience – it’s a chicken and egg thing! How do recent grads get experience if all entry-level jobs would like experienced engineers – but I digress! Don’t blow the first interview by showing up 10 minutes late; know where you are going and how to get there!

The Job Interview Rules

Some of the other “silly” rules that you must follow:

  1. Bring copies of your resume – I know, I know, they should have it. It’s not about the resume, it’s about being prepared.
  2. If you have a time gap on the resume, be prepared to explain – I personally had a 9 year gap from my last day of high school until my first relevant engineering job. Were you in prison? Were you a dog walker? A waiter? I personally typed up a year by year breakdown – which helped, and added to #1 above, be prepared.
  3. References – stick to the hard and fast rules – make note that “references available upon request.”
  4. Attire – put on the clown suit!
  5. Ask questions and take notes – sitting back like Joe Cool gets you nowhere!
  6. SAVE THIS QUESTION FOR LAST – Where do we go from here? Finalizes the interview and lets you know if you should be calling to follow up, or if you will be waiting on them.

Thank you again for listening, that’s it for now. Next installment in two weeks – don’t forget to send your Dear Huddie questions to