Mock job interviews

Students can receive instant feedback from employers about their job interview skills during Mock Interview Days on March 7 and 11.

Students who have registered for mock interviews will be questioned by two or three employers from around the community. During the interview, employers will observe each student and give them feedback afterward about their strengths and what they need to improve on for real job interviews.

The event will take place at the Smittcamp Alumni House from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The interviews, put on by Career Services, take place every year, usually around this time. Although students can schedule a mock interview with counselors at Career Services at any time, this event is different because it will be actual employers who will be interviewing students rather than a counselor.

“It’s a great opportunity to have employers right in front of you and giving you feedback,” said Daryl Fitzgerald, Employer Relations and Recruitment coordinator. “Students need to seize the opportunity.”

Director Rita Bocchinfuso-Cohen also believes that the mock interviews are a good opportunity that students are not utilizing and should be.

“It’s a way to connect with students,” she said. “Many employers we’ve talked to are interested in doing mock interviews. They want to help students.”

Most people believe that a good resume is the most important part in finding a job, but that isn’t so, Fitzgerald said.

“If you cannot do a successful interview, then you are going to have a rough time,” he said. “It’s the most important part in getting a job.”

He believes that employers can’t see what an applicant is like on paper. Only during an interview can they really see what a person’s personality and behavior is.

“Interviewing takes a lot of work,” he said. “If you fail, you lose a lot of good opportunities.”

Employers will be looking at things such as how a student is dressed, non-verbal communication, consistency and their attentiveness during an interview. Bocchinfuso-Cohen’s main advice for students is to practice as much as you can.

“It really works,” she said. “If you practice, you will get better. I’ve seen students come in and do terribly during interviews and then become successful after taking the advice.”

She said, however, that there are some things to avoid when practicing for an interview.

“You don’t want to memorize what you are going to say, but you do want to have everything organized in your mind,” she said.

For students who get nervous, Bocchinfuso-Cohen advises that they take deep breaths and think relaxing thoughts.

Only approximately 12 students have registered for the mock interviews. Bocchinfuso-Cohen thinks one of the reasons why more didn’t register is because they were unaware of it. The only time that Career Services heavily promoted it was during the recent Career Expo, where there was a notice on the back of the programs.

Bocchinfuso-Cohen hopes that next year will be different, however. She plans to work more closely with faculty to make sure students are aware of the opportunity.

She believes that these mock interviews will have a great impact on the students that registered for them.

“These interviews make a difference. I’ve seen it time and time again,” Bocchinfuso-Cohen said. “Most of the time, it’s just small things that need to be changed.”

Although registration for Mock Interview Days is now closed, students who are interested can schedule a mock interview with a counselor in Career Services at any time through fresnostatecareers.com.

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