October 25, 2012

Forty-four companies from across the southeast attended this year’s Construction Interviewing Day and conducted more than 400 total interviews with LSU construction management and civil engineering students.

“It’s nice because it’s a one-stop shop,” said Jesse Downs, associate director of talent development, LSU Career Services. “There aren’t many opportunities where students can interview for several jobs in one day. It’s really convenient.”

Companies posted job offerings to Career Services’ website, Careers2Geaux, and students were able to review and apply to the opportunities of interest based on geographic preference, job specifics and commercial versus industrial positions. The companies then preselected the students they wanted to interview on Construction Interviewing Day.

Recruiters were allotted 30-minute blocks with up to 12 interviews on one schedule. Some companies had two schedules with 24 planned interviews.

“It’s a unique opportunity for students to have an interviewing day,” said construction management senior Adam Zander. “There aren’t many schools across the nation that offer opportunities like this.”

Brandon Deshotel, a construction management alumnus and recruiter for Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Group, L.L.C., said that Construction Interviewing Day is centered on students and prevents barriers such as having to travel to various cities for job interviews or having to do phone interviews with different companies.  

“It provides a networking opportunity for students, whether they think they want to work for someone or not,” Deshotel said. “They still meet people and gain connections for later on.”

Aaron Hoffman, also an LSU engineering alumnus, has attended Construction Interviewing Day for Kiewet for two years to help recruit students to the company. Kiewet attends every year and offers students full time jobs and internships, sometimes on the spot. This year, they hoped to offer five positions.

Construction Interviewing Day is not only helpful for students, but it is also beneficial for companies to gauge students’ skill sets coming out of school and into the industry, Hoffman said.

To prepare for the interviews, Career Services offers a variety of resources to students who planned to attend the event. Students were required attend a mandatory information session where they learned event details such as the expectations of recruiters, professional dress, etiquette and the importance of timeliness. Students also learned what they should know about the companies before the interviews and the consequences for not showing up, not only how it reflects on them, but also how it affects the relationship between LSU and the recruiters.

Construction management senior DeAndros Judie prepared to interview with 10 different companies. Graduating in December, Judie is looking for full time jobs, and he prepared well in advance for his interviews.

Judie researched each company he interviewed with and participated in a mock interview with Downs in Career Services. He attended the Construction Industry Advisory Council panel interview discussion, where several people from the construction industry reviewed tactics for interviews including: what to do, how to dress, posture and the importance of eye contact.

The Construction Student Association also offered resources to prepare students for interviews. Judie attended meetings which hosted speakers from various companies that planned to attend Construction Interviewing Day where they explained their expectations for students.

The CSA also hosts socials at Walk-Ons after the meetings that allow students to network with construction companies. The socials give students an opportunity to get to know people from various companies and to gain a sense of what might be asked in an interview. 

Students had a variety of expectations for the Construction Interviewing Day.

“I’m looking for a job through which I can gain experience and eventually move up to a management position,” said Kevin Matherne, construction management senior who is graduating in December. 

Construction management senior Cole Diez had seven interviews and was looking for a job in field engineering or estimating.

“I’m just trying to get my name out there, and I’m looking for local companies,” Diez said.

Judie’s biggest advice to students, “Just like preparing for a test, preparing for an interview is key in being successful,” he said. “You need to do your research and practice ahead of time.”

For more information on Career Services, click here.

For more information on Construction Management, click here.

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Article written by Elise Bernard, communications intern. For more information, contact Cassie Arceneaux, College of Engineering, carcen6@lsu.edu or (225) 578-0092.  

 



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