MSIS Insider Guide to Interviewing

MSIS Professional Mock Interviews

On Saturday, January 25, more than 50 mid to senior level local IT leaders from 18 different companies gathered at the University of Washington Foster School of Business for the annual MSIS Mock Interviews. One of the most anticipated events of the year, the mock interviews are an opportunity for current MSIS students to connect with industry professionals and receive valuable feedback on the interview process.

The event kicked-off with a networking lunch, where students and professionals alike were buzzing with excitement and anticipation for the day to come. “The lunch was a great way to ease everyone into the rest of the day and provided an excellent atmosphere to ask questions and have more relaxed conversations with some of the mentors,” said student Blake Dailey.

Danny Chan, MSIS 2020 & Jessica Wedvik, Business Intelligence Analyst, Boeing

Danny Chan, MSIS 2020 & Jessica Wedvik, Business Intelligence Analyst, Boeing

Not only did lunch provide the opportunity for students to acquaint themselves with the industry interviewers, it allowed them to gain insight and connection to their fields of interest. “One of the aspects I enjoy the most in the MSIS program is connecting with professionals and building my network. Through the networking lunch I was able to connect with a professional from the company I want to work for with the exact position I want to apply for!” reflected student Danny Chan.

Industry Leaders Share Keys to a Successful Interview

After lunch, each industry professional met one-on-one with an MSIS student and covered techniques such as case interviews, technical assessments, and behavioral questions to provide a robust mock interviewing experience. Perhaps most impactful, though, was the candid and insightful feedback provided to each student after their interview. Aside from gaining strategies for becoming more at ease with interviewing, students also learned more about the key points interviewers are looking for, ways to remain engaging in their answers, how to assess company culture during the interview process, and much more.

Raven Jiang, MSIS Class of 2020 & Charu Jain, VP & CIO, Alaska Airlines

Raven Jiang, MSIS Class of 2020 & Charu Jain, VP & CIO, Alaska Airlines

Student Raven Jiang explains, “From this event, I learned to use interviews as an opportunity to highlight my prior experience as a holistic story, but also as an opportunity to know more from the employer. At the end of my interview with Charu Jain, VP & CIO at Alaska Airlines, we had a discussion about how to turn questions to the interviewers to find out more about culture fit and team match.”

Fellow student Natasha Karmali agreed, sharing, “The session provided something students rarely get in the real world of recruiting: constructive and personalized feedback to build up our interviewing skills. My interviewers not only provided ways for me to calm my nerves but also shared a perspective that interviews are truly a two-way street. With this new perspective, I feel more confident about re-entering the recruiting world.”

A key takeaway for many MSIS students was the power of relationship building and sharing how you can make an impact. Interviewed by Nikhil Sarnot, Managing Director at Accenture Security, and Russell Rhodes, Senior Manager of Big Data at Zillow, Dailey learned,

During the interview you do not just want to talk about why you believe you are a perfect fit for the role, but why you believe the work is important and why you should be the one who is doing it. By demonstrating genuine interest and curiosity for the role you are pursuing, you are forging a deeper connection with the interviewer in which you become more memorable.

  

Michael Aldridge, MSIS Class of 2020 & Dina Nichols, Director of Security Operations Detection & Response, Salesforce

Michael Aldridge gained similar insights, discussing how one of his interviewers, Dina Nichols, Director of Security Operations Detection & Response at Salesforce, structured her mock interview to focus on relationship management and leadership skills. “The mock interview provided a space to critically assess my experiences as a product manager and identify tangible steps to improve moving forward, including how to focus on impact: how you can drive core business or service adoption and contribute to the success of others,” Aldridge shared.

 A Strong MSIS Network

The mock interviews ended with another round of networking over desserts to continue to strengthen the relationships built over the course of this Saturday. Karmali summed up the day with excitement: “Overall, this was an invaluable experience that speaks to the opportunities the MSIS program provides to students looking to accelerate their careers in tech!”

The MSIS Mock Interviews would not be possible without the generous dedication of time that industry leaders and alumni put in to conduct interviews, and the thoughtful feedback they gave to each student. 

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