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Part of Western Governors University

May 11, 2022

Interview Tips From WGU Recruiters

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Interviewing can be daunting, especially if you’ve recently entered the job market, but it doesn’t have to be! To help put you at ease and prepare you for your WGU interview, we asked our Talent Partners eight commonly asked questions about our hiring process. Here is their advice. 

Question 1: Before applying, is there anything I can do to set myself apart?

Tip 1: Your resume should go beyond just job titles and dates – make sure to also showcase your skills and abilities. Ideally, tailor your resume to align to the role you are applying to. For some roles, we receive a lot of applicants, so try to spotlight what you can bring to the role that others might not. 

Tip 2: Update both your resume and LinkedIn profile. It can be confusing when information on your resume doesn't match up with your LinkedIn profile. 

Tip 3: Reach out to your recruiter personally via email or LinkedIn before the interview and express your excitement and enthusiasm. I love this! It shows me you are passionate and want to work here!

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Question 2. How can I best prepare for my virtual interview?

Tip 1: You can best prepare for a virtual interview by treating it like a traditional interview: dress professionally, research the company and role beforehand, and bring your enthusiasm! 

Tip 2: Review our job description and think through specific examples that show how you have demonstrated the required skills. Be prepared to articulate this in your interview. If you are sent links to review beforehand, make sure you do this, since it will likely come up.

Tip 4: Before your interview starts, give yourself enough time to prepare. Try to have a professional background in a distraction-free location. Set up any notes outside of the camera’s view, test your internet speed, and make sure your camera and mic are working correctly in the video platform you will be using for your interview. (Check your settings, to allow for the specific app or browser to access your camera and mic if needed.)

Question 3. What are some interview do's and don'ts?

Tip 1: Pause before beginning to talk. In virtual interviews, connections can be choppy and it can seem like people are talking over one another, so apologize if it appears you have interrupted. Also be cognizant of time – try not to go over your allotted time, since it’s possible your interviewer could have back-to-back appointments.

Tip 2: "Do” be honest, tell me about your experiences, and don't be afraid to share about your passions or projects. "Don't" move around while on your interview. It can be hard to hear, or look unprofessional. It can be tempting to find out more about the position, but we will always make sure there is time for questions at the end of the call. This is the time to showcase your skills and experience, so don't forget to do that as well.

Question 4: What is a typical interview question you might ask, and what answer are you hoping to hear?

Tip 1: “What interests you about joining Western Governors University?” While ‘working from home’ may be honest, it’s not enough. Show me you have done some research! I want to know your ‘why’ and what sets you apart from other candidates. What is it about WGU and this role that interests you?

Tip 2: “Tell me your story and how you got to this point in your career.” This is your chance to tell me something I won’t find on your resume. Tell me about past achievements, what you learned, and/or things you overcame. Connect the dots on how your experience has prepared you for the role you are interviewing for.

Tip 3: “Describe a recent time you went above and beyond for a student/customer/client.”  I want to see if you are customer (student) obsessed and what ‘above and beyond’ looks like to you. If asked for one example, give just one specific example. Also, try to be mindful of time. Don’t  take too long answering a question that can be summed up in 2-5 minutes. 

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Question 5. Describe the typical interview process at WGU.

Tip: After you apply, our recruiting team will review your application and resume, looking at how well your education, experience, skills, and desired salary match up to the position requirements. We will reach out to schedule a time to talk if it looks like you are a good fit for the role, based on the information you provided. Your first conversation will be either a phone call or live video call. From here, the interview process will vary depending on the role you applied to. Typically, you could expect one, two, or three interview rounds. These could be live video, or in some cases, in-person interviews.

Question 6. What is one thing I should know about WGU’s company culture?

Tip 1: We trust generously, but we also require a heavy amount of accountability. We give and receive feedback freely and willingly at WGU– this is an expected part of any role here.

Tip 2: Know that we appreciate the continual learner, the strength it takes to overcome adversity, and the interest in accomplishing great things by working together. Every position, whether student facing or not, impacts our students and supports our mission to change lives for the better by creating pathways to opportunity.

Tip 3: We are an organization that strongly believes in and supports a work life balance. We strive to create an environment where you can collaborate with peers, work hard, and continue to grow in your career, while also taking the time needed to recharge and focus on other areas  of your like. My colleagues cheer me on when I succeed and pick me up when I fall. It is why I stay and love it here! 

Question 7. What department do you recruit for, and do you have any specific advice for me if I’m interested in this area?

Tip 1: I recruit for the College of Business. Hiring managers have varying backgrounds so don't assume they know everything about your industry or experiences. Be willing to share information as needed and learn from our teams as well.

Tip 2: I am a talent partner for the EdTech team. Hopefully, you love our mission and want to work for a non-profit. Know that our salaries are not the same as for-profit organizations. We have modern technologies and innovative ideas. We offer growth and challenges to keep a technical guru satisfied for many years to come.

Tip 3: I personally help with both our high-volume entry-level positions as well as our more technical or creative roles. My biggest piece of advice is to not let the time in between positions stop you! There is a plethora of free information, certificates, and programs that you can find online and attach to your resume! You can do this through LinkedIn, Indeed, or even basic searches through Google (quite a few are free!). Things like LinkedIn Learnings add to your skillset, and help keep you fine-tuned and interview ready. 

Question 8. Is there any other interview advice you have for me?

Tip 1: Acknowledge nervousness. It is natural and can be a sign that you're really interested in the opportunity and organization. Telling me you are nervous takes the edge off and I appreciate the honesty. Smile. Even if it is a phone screen. Have a positive attitude, and try not to talk about all the bad parts of past or current roles.

Tip 2: Come well-prepped. Be upbeat and energized about changing lives for the better. Be punctual, professional, poised, and well-polished. Give straight-forward, concise, meaningful answers to questions. Give examples and tell personal stories that align yourself with the role and show understanding/experience in its duties and responsibilities.

Tip 3: The final tip I have for interview processes is that no matter how many times you interview, or how many times you go through an application process, attempt to go through with a growth mindset! Each round of applications and interviews allows you another chance to get feedback, more resources, and if nothing else another chance to network your name and spread your brand! 

We hope this information helps you in your next interview! Interested in our careers at WGU? View our current open roles:

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