Virginia Tech®home

About the On-Campus Interviewing (OCI) program

What does "on-campus interviewing" mean?

  • The program name referred to a process through which employers could travel to campus to interview students for internships and post-graduation jobs. "On-campus" referred to the location of the interview, not the location of the job. Employers would incur the expense of traveling to campus in order to meet with students in person. Students would have the convenience of having an interview in Smith Career Center. Each employer could schedule an interview date, choosing from dates spanning usually eight weeks of fall semester, and seven weeks of spring semester. 
  • On-campus interviews were typically a screening interview, with a next step being an interview on-site at the employer's location. 
  • The pandemic caused elimination of in-person contact and travel, and subsequently still limits both. Most employers are not travelling to campus during the 2021-2022 academic year. Employers now have extensively used virtual interviewing, virtual information sessions, and virtual career fairs, to connect with students. While these methods are not perfect, and while in-person contact is still valuable, most employers have seen positive benefits of virtual recruiting, including expanding their ability to reach many more students, to diversify their recruiting and opportunities, and to reach more students at lower cost. Not every employer has a robust travel budget for recruiting.
  • Now, "on-campus interviewing" refers to interviews that are scheduled through Handshake; Career and Professional Development facilitates these pre-scheduled interviews between students and employers. Career and Professional Development assists employers with the process of scheduling and planning recruiting strategies and timing to help employers meet their goals and connect with students. Employers post jobs, usually with a planned interview date; students apply; employers select students to interview; and students sign up for interview times in Handshake. The interview itself is likely to be virtual, with both student and employer at their home/office locations. This provides convenience of access and scheduling, for both students and employers.
  • A small number of employers may still choose to travel to campus to conduct interviews in person.
  • Students who want opportunities to interview should continue to apply for jobs and internships through Handshake.
  • "On-campus" refers to the location of the interview, not a limit on the location of the jobs.
  • Employers are located throughout the United States, with many based in the mid-Atlantic or southeast regions of the U.S., and urban regions of Virginia. They include for-profit businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Some employers are local to the New River Valley.
  • Virginia Tech offices with internships for current students and post-graduation jobs for graduating students may also post jobs. 
  • Career fairs are usually one- or two-day events with brief conversations or chats between students and employers; some include follow-up scheduled interviews for all or part of a day. Of course, currently, many career fairs are fully or partially virtual.
  • Some employers participate in career fairs to help promote student interest in their organization. They might schedule their own interviews with students, or they might schedule their interviews through the OCI process.
  • Career fair dates are set by the academic college or department that hosts the career fair. The OCI program enables each employer to request their interview day, which could happen over a span of 80 days during the academic year.
  • Through OCI, 250-300 employers visited campus in each of the recent past years to interview students for post-grad jobs, internships and co-ops.
  • See On-Campus Interviewing Program activity by year for employer and student participation by college.
  • As stated above, most employers are not traveling to campus during the 2021-2022 academic year. 
  • Most interviews are being held virtually, with both student and employer at their home/office locations. Virtual interviewing has helped employers reach more students. Not every employer has a robust travel budget for recruiting.
  • A very small number of employers are traveling to campus to conduct interviews in person.
  • Students who need a quiet space for a virtual interview may request to use an interview room in Smith Career Center. Requests must be made in advance. Rooms cannot be provided for students who ask for a room on the day they need space. Interviews are scheduled in advance, so the request can be made in advance. Students who wish to request a room should contact the employer relations staff in Career and Professional Development. 

Before participating in OCI, students and employers should read and understand:

  • Recent grads might find jobs of interest. Most employers who recruit through college campuses are seeking recent or upcoming graduates. 
  • For graduates with more experience, it is probably more practical to view employers' websites to seek opportunities for more experienced job candidates.