STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM MOCK INTERVIEWS

LAUREN WISDOM, GUEST WRITER

Wartburg College to host business, social work and multicultural mock interviews to aid students with preparation for job interviews. “The goal of this is to simply provide students with preparation for life after Wartburg,” Derek Solheim, director of the Pathways Center, said.

“Whether you are applying for a summer camp position, summer coaching position, an internship or full-time job, you need strong communication skills, organizational skills and technology skills.” Upcoming business mock interviews will be on Nov. 14, 2019, Feb. 11, 2020, and March 26, 2020, held in the quiet study rooms on the third floor of Vogel Library.

For other majors, students may schedule individual interviews any time throughout the year. During the interviews, students will have the chance to answer questions from several faculty members or HR representatives.

“I think students don’t see the value until much later,” Solheim said. “You want to make mistakes in practice, not in the game. [The interviewers] want you to work out all the kinks ahead of time so that when you’re meeting with whoever it is you want to work for, you’re able to clearly articulate stories about your experiences that relate to what the employer wants.”

In preparation for the mock interviews, Solheim goes into a class period the week before the mock interview day and asks a student to sit in front of the class. Solheim purposely sets one chair higher than the other because he wants to see if the student will make themselves comfortable.

Finally, he asks the student questions in front of the class, so that the student’s classmates can provide feedback. Meanwhile, Laura LaBrie has a different approach. On Oct. 15, 2019, she interviewed with a representative from the Target Distribution Center.

“I brought a copy of my resume, and I learned more about the Target Distribution Center,” LaBrie, a fourth-year business and accounting double-major, said.

“In past interviews, I have written down a few sample answers because when you are in the moment, sometimes your brain shuts off. It lets the interviewer know that you are taking it seriously and that you want the position you had applied for.”

LaBrie also mentioned that it is important to dress professionally at the interview and to get plenty of sleep the night before. “Put your best self forward,” LaBrie said.

“The interviewer sitting across the table from you is wanting you to do your best because they do want to hire you. They are rooting for you. Everybody is rooting for you.”

From an interviewer’s perspective, Solheim agrees with LaBrie’s advice. “Be yourself,” Solheim said. “You’re going to stumble. It’s a great experience, I would just encourage students to take advantage of it. It never hurts to practice.” Each interview session is approximately 30 minutes long.

To learn more about the mock interview process and to schedule an appointment, go to info.wartburg. edu/Pathways/Career-Services/ Employer-Information.

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