Speed mock interviewing gives students new skills

By Joycelyn Fish

Campus Life Editor

Landing a job takes more than a polished résumé, professional references and experience in an internship. Many employment decisions are made on the most nerve-racking and critical part of the hiring process; interviews.

Career Services will be hosting speed mock interviewing on Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Lobby to help students prepare for the important interviews they will encounter when applying for jobs. Students interested in participating in the event must preregister by Thursday, Nov. 1 in Murphy Center 347 or email careers@viterbo.edu.

Speed interviewing is built on the idea of speed dating with students undergoing multiple interviews in a short period of time.

“The way that we run it is that students get a four or five minute interview, and there are a few minutes for feedback,” Beth Dolder-Zieke, director of Career Services, explained.

The event is open to all students and all majors and will feature volunteer interviewers from all types of job fields. All of the interviewers have connections to Viterbo as alumni, friends, or are area professionals. Students will rotate through interviewers and will also have the chance to network during a reception at the end of the event.

“I don’t want to say people are coming looking for employees, but it’s all about connections – to people in the community, and we really encourage our students to network as much as possible,” Dolder-Zieke said.

Students who attend the event are required to wear business casual dress. Casual attire should not be worn since these mock interviews will be treated as real, professional ones. Students can find information about what business casual looks like and preparation questions at http://www.viterbo.edu/career/.

Natalie Christensen, from Kasson, Minn., attended a speed mock interview event last year and found it to be very helpful.

“The immediate feedback was great, because unlike at a real interview, I wasn’t left wondering why I did or didn’t get the job,” Christensen explained.

Dennis Benthin, from Hillsboro, Wis., also took away new skills and networked at the event.

“[It was] unbelievably helpful to me because it made me be confident and believe that I have something beneficial for employers. In addition, I made a connection that almost landed me a job,” Benthin said.

Dolder-Zieke emphasized the importance of “practice makes perfect” and how students can learn about employers’ various interviewing techniques at the event.

”I think that what this ultimately does is reduces anxiety for students. Some of the things they might ask you in an interview are things you can’t prepare for, but if you go into the interview feeling like you’ve done everything that you can, you’re going to have a different response to it,” Dolder-Zieke said.

If students are unable to attend the event, Career Services has multiple resources to help students at its disposal. Students can get assistance with building their résumé, schedule a one-on-one mock interview, and connect with Denise Lorenz, Viterbo’s community engagement coordinator, to set up internships. Students can also access V-Hawk Job Talk, Viterbo’s job bank, from the MyVU page. Additionally, they can log into VitNet and use the career assessment under “University Resources.”

“From freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, there is always some reason to see career services,” Dolder-Zieke said. “Career planning is all about the process of discovering your gifts, and this world is so worthy of your gifts.”

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