Don’t Mock Me, It’s an Interview!

Filed in From the Staff by on February 26, 2018

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You did it- you got an interview! All those applications, resumes, and cover letters finally led to an interview. But then you remember: you haven’t interviewed in a long time, or you’ve never interviewed at all.

Fret not! The CDC can help! The CDC offers appointments for “Mock Interviews”, which are one-hour appointments during which a career counselor interviews you as if they are actually the company you have an interview with. When you register for the appointment on Handshake (Career Center > Appointments), you will be instructed to send your resume AND the job description to cdc@wpi.edu. Be sure to do that, or else the career counselor can’t interview you.

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Treat a mock interview as you would a normal interview. Plan on arriving 15 minutes early, and check in with the front desk. Come in dressed in full interview attire, and be ready to treat the experience as you would the actual interview. Read over the Interviewing Tipsheet and think about experiences you could talk about in an interview.

Perhaps the most bizarre part of the experience is that the interview is recorded. This may seem odd at first, but I promise that it will be helpful. I personally get easily distracted by reflections (perhaps it’s my inner Narcissus), so I had to make a concerted effort to focus on my interviewer’s face. This actually helped me maintain good eye contact throughout the interview!

The interview itself was just as realistic as I had hoped. I was asked questions I would likely receive on an interview, and prepared a few questions to ask the interviewer. After about 15 minutes of being interviewed, we “ended” the interview and debriefed. I got to talk about what I think I did well and what I wanted to improve upon. Then, we went through the video.

Watching my interview back on film was also bizarre. I cringed at my voice and how I moved my hands and how I scrunched my face. Yes, watching it was very embarrassing, but now I know those behaviors that I do that I don’t always notice, and can work to correct them on my actual interview. This isn’t to say that I won’t get a job because I talk with my hands; this is just a behavior I can attempt to quell in order to keep the interviewer more focused on me.

Hearing my question answers back on video was very helpful. I am someone who prefers to write and revise as opposed to speak, so this opportunity to “review and revise” my verbal answers especially helped me recognize the method of answering questions that will be most effective on the interview. The career counselor who interviewed me also coached me on the STAR method of answering questions. STAR stands for “Situation, Task, Action, Result.” STAR is a method in which you give context to a situation, precisely identify the task you were faced with, speak to the specific actions you took to deal with the situation, and discuss the result of your actions. Talking about my experiences in this manner makes my stories targeted, precise, and effective.

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I cannot recommend mock interviewing enough. When I went into my actual interview for this role, I felt cool, calm and collected because I had already done that interview once before!

Keep calm and career on,

Lauren

Click Jess to read about networking!

Click Ali to read about thank you notes and startups!

Van Harting

Click Van to read about endurance and grit!

 

About the Author ()

I am pursuing a degree in Biochemistry at WPI with minors in Biology and Business. I am a Peer Advisor for the Career Development Center and am passionate about helping my fellow students be successful in their careers and in life!

Comments (1)

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  1. Jessica Smith says:

    LOVE this! Great job Lauren, both on the mock interview and this article. It is great to be able to not only get feedback on different aspects of the interview, but to also see for yourself things you might want to improve after seeing yourself on video being interviewed.