Policies and Procedures
Is On-Campus Interviewing (OCI) for Me?
To determine if OCI will meet your needs, look at the opportunities through the Guest Account log-in at the Nittany Lion Career Network.
Most positions offered through this service are full-time opportunities in business, industry, or government and are for students with technical or business backgrounds and interests. Students with backgrounds and interests in other areas should not rule out on-campus interviewing, but should be advised that OCI may need to be combined withother job search strategies.
If you are seeking a career in the arts, social services, education, politics, communications, health care, or a similar field, a self-directed job search is a must. Even if you are seeking employment in business and technical fields you should consider OCI as only one method of seeking employment. Students in all fields should learn to conduct a fullscale job search using additional resources and strategies.
When Do I participate in OCI?
Because employers prefer to interview candidates who are within a few months of graduation, the following times are suggested to register for interviews with the on-campus interviewing system.
- participate in the on-campus interviewing system the spring and fall semesters before graduation.
May and August Grads:
- participate in the on-campus interviewing system during both the fall and spring semesters before graduation.
PLEASE NOTE: Some employers will participate in OCI only once a year. Others will visit during both fall and spring semesters, but they may be interviewing for different positions during each visit. We suggest that you begin early and review the employer campus interview notices weekly to determine if they are applicable to your situation.
Should I Request an On-Campus Interview?
When you request an interview you are making a serious commitment. Your request is an expression of interest in that employer and an implied promise that you will schedule an interview if your request is granted. To subsequently fail to schedule an interview is a breach of professional ethics. To help you determine whether or not you should request an interview with a given employer, consider the following four points:
- Consider your time and class schedule. How many interviews can you handle in a week? How many class periods do you have open on the day of the employer’s visit? Don’t request more interviews than you can manage. Since close to 500 employers recruit on campus each fall and spring semester, you should carefully choose the employers that most closely match your interests.
- What do you know about the employer? Never request an interview without having information about the employer. Read the employer’s literature on line and then decide if you are still interested.
- The interviewer will be very interested in your career objective and geographic preference. Don’t request an interview thinking that they may have something else in their job pool—employers are usually here for very specific opportunities.
- On-campus interviewing is not offered to students to practice interviewing skills. Career Services offers seminars, individual or small group counseling sessions, academic courses, and a mock interview service to help you develop your interviewing skills.
How Do I Increase My Chances?
Many students request interviews for each opening, hoping that they will be increasing their chances for an interview. In reality, this may not be the case. If you have sound academic credentials, a clearly expressed career objective, and the background to support that objective, you will be a strong candidate. You will increase the chances of being granted an on-campus interview if you present yourself effectively on your resume and only request interviews for positions about which you are able to express genuine interest.
Policies for Participation
Participating in the on-campus interviewing system grants Career Services permission to provide your resume and other job search documents to prospective employers. You also become part of the OCI listserv and grant permission to Career Services to send announcements about jobs, upcoming events and other important information and updates.
Use of the System
When an account is established in your name, it is for your use only. Sharing your account or submitting resumes for other candidates is strictly forbidden and will result in dismissal from the system. Student instructions are available here.
You MUST complete your Personal Profile. Without this information, you will not be notified of interview invitations or information sessions, nor be included in resume searches conducted by employers.
Deadlines are strictly adhered to—no resumes will be accepted after the posted deadline. Application deadlines are listed on the job postings and are generally 20 days prior to the interview date.
Changing Your Interview Time
You may change your interview time through the OCI system, provided time slots are still available. Interview time changes are accepted up to the schedule close date listed on the job posting.
When you submit a request for an interview, you are committed to schedule an interview if the employer selects you. If extenuating circumstances force you to cancel your commitment, you MUST decline your interview through Nittany Lion Career Network by the deadline listed on the job posting. Do NOT cancel your interview directly with the employer as the message often does not get to the recruiter arriving on campus.
Students cancelling interviews after the on-line deadline and/or those students who do not show up for scheduled interviews are considered no-shows. No shows will immediately be blocked from requesting or signing up for interview.
The first time you miss or cancel an interview late, your on-campus interviewing privileges within Nittany Lion Career Network will be withheld until a letter of explanation and apology is written to the employer. This letter and a stamped envelope must be provided to Career Services. We will mail it with our cover letter and reactivate your interviewing privileges. Please check with Career Services for the contact information of the recruiter with whom you were scheduled to meet. A second missed interview or late cancellation will result in your on-campus interviewing privileges within Nittany Lion Career Network being withdrawn permanently.
Many employers schedule sessions, usually the night before their interviews, to present information about their company and opportunities. Attendance at the company information sessions for all students invited to interviews is expected— employers consider these events to be a part of the interview process. Students who want to learn more about opportunities may also attend information sessions, when allowed by employers. Check Nittany Lion Career Network Events Menu for information sessions for current information sessions for future employer visits. Also note any instructions concerning special literature or data forms requested by the company. Students attending information sessions should wear business-casual attire.
The Day of the OCI Interview
- Arrive 10 or 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled interview time.
- Report to the Career Services office in Room 216 EAB (South).
- Check in at the reception desk and the staff assistant will let the employer know you have arrived.
Missing a Site Interview
When you accept an invitation for a site interview you are making a commitment to that company. If you are no longer interested in an opportunity or cannot make an interview, it is professional courtesy to contact the employer and let them know of your situation. Simply not attending a scheduled interview will ensure that you will not be considered for a position with that company in the future. Your actions can also jeopardize Penn State’s relationship with the company, making interviews difficult for future students. Career Services expects that students using our Nittany Lion Career Network services maintain professional behavior. Because our expectations are as such, if we receive a report from an employer of a missed site interview, we will block your account until you contact the company to explain your situation and apologize for your behavior, copying Career Services on any correspondence with the company regarding the situation.
You are expected to notify employers who offer you a position of an acceptance or non-acceptance of an offer in a timely manner. Accept an offer of employment in good faith, notify Career Services and withdraw from the recruiting process after accepting an offer of employment, and discontinue pursuit of a position with other employers. Candidates who accept a position and then renege will result in the permanent removal of your interview privileges through Career Services.