Participant FAQs

  1. How long is the BeanThere application open for participants?

Applications are accepted on an on-going basis! If you've submitted your application and we've hit scheduling capacity, you will be placed on a waitlist until volunteers' schedules re-opens.

  1. What happens after I submit my application?

Once you submit your application, our team will review it and you should receive notice within 3-5 business days if you've been paired with a tech industry professional. Our volunteer will provide time/date options to schedule a virtual coffee chat with them, and you must respond within 48 hours to confirm what time/date provided works for you. If you do not respond, you forfeit your spot to someone on the waitlist. In the event that we hit scheduling capacity, participants who could not be paired with a tech industry professional this month will be placed on a waitlist and rolled onto the following month to schedule a coffee chat.

  1. Can I sign-up for this more than once if I complete my program?

At this time, we ask that selected applicants do not sign up for the program more than once due to limited scheduling. We will update this accordingly, depending on our volunteers' availability and volume of participant requests for that month. If scheduling permits, applicants may be able to speak with several volunteers in role(s) that interests them.

  1. What is an "informational interview"?

Informational interviews can be one of the most valuable sources of occupational information and are a great networking technique. They give you an opportunity to obtain relevant information about the realities of working within a particular field, industry, or position. Conducting informational interviews will expand your network, improve your confidence when speaking with professionals, and help you learn more about an industry, company, profession, or position within a company. Click here for more information on these types of interviews (source: Career Services at the McCombs School of Business).

  1. What is a "resume review"?

A resume review is a service in which a professional reviews your resume to find areas of your resume that you can improve and provides suggestions to help you maximize the impact your resume has. The professional looks over your entire resume with the same attention to detail and scrutiny that a potential employer would use. A professional resume review typically includes the following:

  • Proofreading for spelling and grammatical errors

  • Ensure resume length is appropriate for your experience

  • Full content review to ensure content is being maximized

  • Ensure experience and accomplishments are quantified

  • Applicant tracking system (ATS) keyword and formatting compatibility

  • Style, design, tone and formatting suggestions

(source: Indeed - Definitive Guide to Professional Resume Review)

  1. What is a "mock-prep interview"?

A mock interview is a practice interview that allows the interviewee to create effective responses, work on nonverbal communication skills and become familiar with interview settings. A mock interview can recreate any interview environment, such as in-person, phone or group interviews.

Anyone can be your mock interviewer, as long as they have a list of related questions and can provide helpful feedback. However, a career counselor or professional in your field would be the best option for a mock interview. You can also use a family member or friend, as long as they can offer honest advice.

(source: Indeed - How to Prepare for a Mock Interview)

  1. My informational interview coffee chat is tomorrow! Any advice?

Each informational interview is schedule for 30 minutes (unless the interviewer/volunteer has more time to allocate). Simply "winging it" will not be an effective use of your or our volunteer's time, and honestly, makes things super awkward. To maximize your time with the tech industry professional and gain better clarity what you want to achieve out of this conversation, we highly recommend that you:

  1. Do your background research:

      • This will help you get started on potential questions you may want to ask your assigned industry tech professional how they got started in their career and what that tech company does.

      • We have added each of our volunteer's LinkedIn under "Our Team" tab — take a look at their profiles to get a general sense of what they've accomplished in their careers thus far.

      • Look up the most recent company your assigned tech industry professional is working at, and get a high-level overview of the company's background. What's the mission? How did it get started? Where is it primarily located (local, national, global)? Who are its customers? Who are its primary competitors?

  1. Prepare your questions ahead of time:

  • Take time to self-reflect: where are you currently in your career goals, and where do you want to be in 3-5 years down the line?

  • Look back over your background research notes. What are some things that you are still curious about based on what you read about your interviewer and the company he/she currently works at?

  • Jot down a list of questions ahead of time either on a Google Doc or piece of paper, and feel free to share them with your interviewer prior to the call! This would show clear initiative on your end and help our volunteers steer the conversation in a more structured way so you can make the most out of your scheduled 30 minutes.

3. Brush up on your "tell me about yourself"/elevator pitch

  • Your interviewer is curious about your background and how they can best support you on your career goals!

  • Give them a brief overview of yourself regarding your current major or finished degree, your most recent internship or professional experience, why you're interested in pursuing a career in tech, and what your ideal "dream role" would be.

4. Be courteous and mindful of time:

  • Please be punctual for your scheduled coffee chat. If an emergency comes up and you need to reschedule last minute, please be sure to reach out to your interviewer and the BeanThere team ( at least 1 hour before your scheduled chat. If you are late by more than 10 minutes and we haven't heard from you, the interviewer will mark that as a "no show" and you may be barred from participating in the rest of the program or contacting our volunteers.

  • Be respectful of your volunteer’s time — he/she may be scheduling time to chat with you during working hours, so may have another scheduled meeting they need to join shortly after your call.

  • Bonus points: send your interviewer a thank you email after the informational coffee chat. Remember, you never know what doors he/she could open for you one day.

5. Relax & have a growth mindset:

      • The virtual coffee chat is supposed to be in an informal setting, and our volunteers want to help you reach your goals! Remember, they were once in your shoes.

      • The goal of the BeanThere program is for you to learn and grow. If you are unsure about something, don't be afraid to bring this up and ask!

(source: 5 tips for Informational, 8 tips for a successful networking coffee date).

8. Do I need to "dress up" for my virtual coffee chat? Where should I conduct my interview?

We invite you to come as you are, so please dress casually and wear comfortable clothes. The virtual coffee session should be conducted in an informal setting, but make sure you can sit somewhere that isn't too noisy and distracts you from focusing on your conversation with your interviewer. Also, double check whether this is a Zoom/video or phone call, and test your Internet connection or signal prior to the scheduled coffee chat - each volunteer may have their own preferences on which medium to use. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us at