Interviewing the Interviewers: What Companies Look For in Employees

September 16, 2017

If you have ever wondered what qualities companies are looking for when hiring college students, you're not the only one. Thankfully, a few companies were able to answer that for us. The department of Electrical and Computer Engineering held a career fair on September 13th where representatives from the ECE department answered a few questions about their hiring process that could aid applicants.

The companies that were interviewed include NAVAIR, DENSO, International Paper, and M.C. Dean.


What are characteristics that you look for in an undergraduate student applying for an internship or entry level job at your company?

Ms. Loretta Kestler, a Supervisory Electronics Engineer at NAVAIR, states that she looks for candidates who communicate well, have good technical writing skills, are involved in extracurricular activities, and have taken their academics seriously.

NC State graduates Mr. Logan Adams and Mr. Christopher Edge, both of whom work for M.C. Dean, say that they look for candidates who have drive and who are motivated and reliable.  They remark that, while academics is taken into careful consideration, students can explain progress and any issues they encountered during their undergraduate program.

Do you have tips for those entering the workforce?

Mr. Jacob Thomas, Ms. Amanda Elliott, and Mr. Sagar Patel are all employees of International Paper. In their experience, undergraduates should have a good attitude, have previous internship/co-op experience, drive, and should participate in community activities/service.

Mr. Brian Crawford, a recruiting representative from DENSO, gave this advice:  students should have internship experience, but co-op experience is preferred because it gives them a more in depth idea of the real world experience.


What leadership traits are companies looking for?

Ms. Kestler from NAVAIR says that companies are looking for individuals leadership traits including the abilities to listen, show compassion, communicate and make decisions.

Mr. Adams and Mr. Edge say that companies are looking for candidates who are open minded, willing to take chances, and are able to mentor.  However, they need to be able to both learn from and take care of others.

Why do you need ECE students?

Ms. Elliott from International Paper shares that, at her company, they need ECE students because there is a need for coding skills, technology management and industrial reliability.

Mr. Crawford says that, at DENSO, some of the roles that ECE students are needed for include creating and designing electronic products, circuit testing, soldering, and product testing.