Students develop skills at mock interviews

Leah Goldstein, Contributing Writer

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Career Services held a mock interview workshop for students Tuesday in the Human Services Building.

For the workshop, Career Services brought in local professionals who also attend the career fair to help students build their confidence and professionalism as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Students dressed up in professional attire, brought in resumes and attended interviews that were designed like real interviews for real jobs.

Students participated in 30-minute interviews, and after they concluded, the interviewers gave them constructive feedback.

John Marr, career adviser and interviewer at the workshop, said the other interviewers typically ask the students behavioral questions.

These consist of more situational questions like, “Name a time when you handled conflict,” instead of basic questions like, “Tell me about yourself,” he said.

Asking these specific behavioral questions helps students control their thoughts and come up with a composed answer instead of just rambling on about themselves, Marr said.

Interviewers at the workshop said they wanted students to leave remembering the “star method,” which is situation, task, action and result, to help them answer interview questions to the best of their abilities.

Some frequently-given advice the interviewers gave students was to prepare.

Preparation is key to presenting oneself in the best confident and professional manner, they said.

Being confident when presenting oneself is going to be a way to show the preparation and knowledge students have obtained, Marr said.

A goal Career Services has regarding the workshops, Marr said, is to teach students to build professional communication skills.

No student is going to have a perfect, composed interview without practice, he said, so both going to the mock interview workshops and preparing for real-life interviews afterwards is important.

Raven Ramsey, a junior construction management major, was one of the students who attended the workshop, and she said she had some very positive feedback for it.

She said the advice from the interviewers was good to boost her confidence speaking with professionals, and she aims to lead future interviews with certainty and poise.

Ramsey said she decided to participate because after she saw the email Eastern sent to students, she thought it would be a great opportunity to learn how to be a better interviewee.

She said she prepared for the workshop by maintaining the attitude that the interviews there were no different than real interviews for real jobs.

Ramsey said something new she learned from the workshop was how to handle situational and conflict questions by giving composed, clear answers.

She would certainly recommend the workshop to any student who would like to learn more about how to be the best interviewee, regardless of past experience, she said.

This opportunity is very helpful to students because they are not just getting feedback from their professors and people they are comfortable with, but they are getting it from real professionals who can give real feedback, she said.

Leah Goldstein can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]