Mock Interview Week at Meredith College, sponsored by the Office of Career Planning, is designed to prepare students for future interviews with internship coordinators, employers, and other major decision makers. During the fall 2016 Mock Interview Week, more than 60 students practiced interviewing skills with employers. Thirteen different employer representatives facilitated the interview sessions, many of whom were Meredith alumnae.
On Monday, October 24, all three interviewers on campus were Meredith graduates: Kay Davis, HR lead at Delve Interiors; Edie Deck, director of sales & marketing for Aloft Raleigh Hotel; and Ellen Grantham, vice president of finance and administration for WebAssign.
For some students, Mock Interview Week can be an intimidating event. In this unique, educational setting, students undergo real interviews and receive instant feedback and constructive criticism from employers after each interview session. Prior to interviewing, students may worry about "saying the wrong thing," or not having an answer to an interviewer's question, but mock interviews are designed to take the trepidation out of the interviewing process, and help students exercise proper interviewing etiquette in a professional environment.
Having participated in Mock Interview Week twice at Meredith, I have learned to keep a few things in mind when interviewing to channel my nervous energy. First, I remind myself that interviewers are trying to find the perfect candidate to fill an open position. Most employers go into every interview wanting it to be the last, as an interviewer's job is not to make candidates nervous, but to find the person who can fill the position most effectively and immediately. Secondly, as an interviewee, I remember that I am trying to find the job or internship that is right for me. The interview has as much to do with me as it does the company and the interviewer. This is the right time to ask questions about the work environment, and opportunities for personal growth within an organization before accepting a job offer.
As far as interview etiquette goes, I found the following observations to be most important. First, make eye contact. If possible, keep your eyes on the interviewer for the entirety of the interview. Avoid looking down, up, or around when speaking, as you want to show the interviewer that you are interested in this opportunity and that you respect their time. Secondly, I have found that being aware of the interviewing time is critical. It is great to have long, well-developed answers if an interview is more than 45 minutes, but if an interview is on the shorter side,you must find a way to give intelligent, favorable answers in a short amount of time. It helps to practice responding to questions before an interview. You may not get to all of them, but I have found that preparing for the questions that you do expect can help you answer the questions that you do not expect.
Never go into interviews with negative expectations or unfair presumptions, but always Go Strong, with a firm handshake, a smile, and your head held high!
By Darrielle Milford, ‘19