A job interview is one of the essential components in any job search. For detailed information regarding what to expect in a job interview, click here. Below is advice specifically for international students to keep in mind when interviewing with a prospective employer.
Preparation is the key
- Know the prospective employer
- Know the potential job
- Know yourself
It is your job to educate potential employers about how easy it is hire a student with an F-1 Visa.
- Try not to use the word "sponsorship"- use "renewable" instead
- Stress the positive position of hiring a student with F-1 Visa
- Power - the employer can terminate employment after 12 months without lawsuits
- Recommend that they hire you as an independent contractor
- Be aware of cultural barriers (see section on “cultural barriers”)
- Be able to explain the advantages to hiring you and why you are the best candidate for the job.
- Market yourself positively by focusing on your strengths, not weaknesses.
- Avoid visa “jargon”- This could potentially confuse and intimidate an employer into not hiring you.
- Do not divulge personal information such as marital status or age in an interview.
- Be aware of what companies can/cannot ask you
- For example, they CANNOT ask, “What is your country of origin?” but they are authorized to ask, “Are you eligible to work in the U.S.?”
- Be aware of non-verbal cues (these are critical!)
- Maintain appropriate eye contact when answering questions
- Be aware of physical distance and what is comfortable for the employer
- Dress professionally, according to U.S. standards (for more information, see the Professional Dress section)
- Use appropriate manners including shaking their hand and maintaining good posture)
- Remember to follow-up with a hand-written thank you note. This will be sure to set you apart from the competition.
- Practice makes perfect! Contact Career Services and set up a mock interview today. This will help you gain valuable practice before your interview.