Students prepare for interview success

June 4, 2014

11.6_MockInterviewOn Nov. 1, Bryan College Career Services held its second annual Mock Interview Day, drawing 52 current students to practice their interview skills in a real-life setting, preparing them for the interviews many will face in the months to come.

Senior Leila Barker shakes hands
with her interviewer, Col. Ron Petitte Career Services paired the students, 36 of whom are seniors preparing to graduate in December or May, with one of 27 volunteer interviewers from both the Hill and from outside the Bryan College community, including Dan Sanders, family service counselor for Dept. of Children’s Services; Kevin Stophel, principal of Kumquat; and Phillip Hise, board chair of the Rhea Family YMCA.

Several days in advance of the mock interviews, students were given job descriptions in real companies focused on their personal areas of passion and interest. The interviews lasted 20 minutes each, followed by 10 minutes of constructive feedback on appearance, handshakes, preparation, nonverbal behaviors, and work-readiness. “We encourage students to research the company they’re mock-interviewing for,” said Associate Director of Career Services Chelsea Zimmerman, noting how thoroughly this year’s participants had prepared.

“I am so grateful to Bryan College’s Career Center for putting on the Mock Interview Day,” noted senior Kate-Marie Parks. “As a biology major it is so hard to prepare for graduate-level interviews, but this opportunity gave me the privilege of experiencing a very realistic interview setting. I appreciated the interviewer’s generous donation of their time and the valuable critiques they gave on my performance. I have two graduate school interviews in the next two weeks and because of this event I feel prepared.”

Bruce Morgan, dean of student life, was one of the interviewers at the event, which he calls an excellent concept. “It is a great tool to help our students hone their interview skills in a non-threatening environment. It is good to be able to give the students immediate feedback, on both that at which they excelled and that which they need to improve,” he said.

Zimmerman said, “Mock Interview Day was truly a success because of the involvement of Bryan’s staff, faculty, and outside community leaders. We are grateful to be surrounded by so many who are willing to commit their time to investing in the lives of students in a very practical way.”