Interview Preparation

Through mock interviews, one-on-one prep sessions, career guide tips, and a team of career service professionals, we’ll help you land the job you desire and launch the career of your dreams. Contact us to set an appointment.

The Interview Process


Student Q + A

Doug Aldrich is a South Dakota Mines alumnus who spent thirty years recruiting for Dow Corning on campus,
conducting 1,041 interviews. Below he answers student questions from a recruiter perspective.

Q: To what point should I research the company before an interview?
A: At least one hour for each company you want to interview, and twice that for one of great interest. Good
homework will prevent you wasting your time on a company you’re not interested in. Research will also earn you a higher quality and more successful interview.

Q: If the interviewer stops talking to jot down some notes, should I break the silence or remain quiet?  
A: Many interviewers will just look at you after your initial answer to a question. In the ensuring silence, you may feel compelled to elaborate, and that more complete answer is the one they want.

Q: What do interviewers want to hear from the student?
A: They want an understanding of you not readily obtained from an application and transcript – how you think, what makes you tick, how you communicate, what job you’re looking for, and how you respond to certain questions. Who is the person between the lines of the data sheet? Show how you can be a specific contributor.

Q: What do interviewers want when they say, “Explain your academic career.”  
A: They might be asking how you chose your major, what courses you’ve enjoyed, or about campus activities. The question may be looking for the personal impact of your work experiences, maturing growth, or hobbies.

Q: What type of an answer do interviewers want when they ask what you’ve learned from your mistakes?  
A: An honest one! I look for your attitude in dealing with mistakes and the specifics of what you learned.

Q: What kinds of questions should I ask the interviewer?  
A: We like questions that concentrate on job responsibilities, types of assignments, career options, performance appraisals, measurements of success, and opportunities for contribution.

Improve Your Interview Skills 


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Lyondell Basell
Raven Industries
L-3 Communications
Innovative Systems
Rockwell Collins


Kimberly Clark

South Dakota DENR