By Amanda Gonzalez Garcia
As students, we all will have to go through an interview process at least once in our lives, but mock interviews are a great way to ease the nerves, practice our presentation skills and prep our materials before the big day arrives. And, sometimes, they can turn into the real thing.
Job Interview Training Executive & Career Development Specialist Ebony Olivier offers three action steps that should be completed before any interview.
These steps include:
Research the company, CEO of the company and the position you are interviewing for. It’s very important to know the vision and goals of the company, get familiar with the CEO and know what the position entails so that you can be able to articulate the value you can bring to the position.
Make sure your resume is up to date and have multiple copies of them, at least five copies. You can also create samples of your work, if applicable. The work samples can be passed out during the interview, i.e., art portfolio, engineer models, or pictures of your work.
Create a list of projects that you completed and/or are currently working on that pertain to the position for which you are interviewing. Having a visual other than a resume gives you an opportunity to further sell your value to the organization during the interview.
The Career Development Center at Barry has a committed staff to serve students and alumni alike as they navigate through job searches and career decisions.
“By meeting regularly with [a] career counselor and building a relationship with them, they are better able assist you in your job search and able to advocate for you to employers,” said Career Development Center Director John Moriarty.
Mock interviews are available to all interested students and, if students desire more of an intensive experience, the center also facilitates the ORI-300 course for Career Readiness as an open course for all junior and senior students to assist in the transition from undergraduate studied into the “real world.”
In this course, students are guided in a semester-long practice of necessary career development skills.
Every year, the Career Development Center invites local South Florida employers to conduct these mock interviews. They are now conducted virtually.
The student will meet with the employer for a 20-minute interview and a subsequent feedback session. Through this activity, students are placed in a real-life interview scenario in which, for some, it is the first ever interview they have ever done.
“In my first interview, I was a nervous wreck trying to remember every pointer my professor gave us while trying my best to get a good grade on the assignment,” said Lianne Garcia, a senior marketing major. “This mock interview was an assignment, but it also taught me that all my doubts about not being able to impress an employer with no official experience was just me overthinking.”
Additionally, students are taught about interview ethics such as how to research companies of interest, how to dress appropriately and how to anticipate possible interview questions and more.
“Practice makes perfect when it comes to interviewing and the more experience one gets the better they become,” said Moriarty.
Senior career counselor at the center, Gurbet Akdogan, is at the frontline of student success and is always excited when a mock interview turns into a real one.
“The latest example of this was the case of Lianne Garcia, a marketing senior, who met with an international media and communications agency Republica Havas,” said Akdogan. “After giving a strong performance at her mock interview, Lianne was invited to a real job interview and got offered an amazing internship opportunity for the summer.”
While this ORI-300 Career Readiness course is mandatory under the business major curriculum, said Garcia, she is very thankful for the experience she gained from it.
Some of the secrets she learned were to include project(s) or paper(s) on your resume that you are most proud of and that relate to your ideal career path and to spruce up your LinkedIn profile.
“It makes all the difference in the world and no one can explain the work you put into your projects better than you can,” she said. “Also, use LinkedIn and connect with as many people as you can! You never know who’s going to come across your profile, so make sure to put your best foot forward on your LinkedIn profile.”
In order to see more detailed descriptions of all programs and services by the Career Development Center, visit their website.
Olivier believes that preparation for such career opportunities is the key.
“...Look at your career after college as a journey,” she said. “You may or may not land your dream job after college, but every career opportunity that you embark on will give you the experience and KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities) for the next career opportunity, that comes your way."