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My Mock Interview Experience

Dressed professionally and with my portfolio in hand, I entered the Career Center and signed in. I took a seat on the comfy green couch and waited for my mock interviewer, Jillian Ellis, to arrive. Once she arrived, we shook hands, said hello, and then entered the interview room. The mock interview had begun! Jillian had prepared a list of 10 questions that I might be asked by a hiring manager. We went through each question one by one and, after I had answered all 10 questions, Jillian ended the interview and we discussed how I did. She went through each question, detailing what I said right and what I should not say in the future. Here are a few things that Jillian taught me during the mock interview.

Jillian gave me general tips about maintaining eye contact and pausing before answering a question. She told me to always take any negative situation and turn it into something positive, a learning experience. Even if the experience was incredibly difficult, you should never let the negativity show. Jillian also advised avoiding controversial topics as much as possible, such as politics and religion. However, if something is closely linked to your identity, it is perfectly all right to let this shine through. Also, she said to make sure to clearly explain your answers. The hiring manager interviews many candidates and it is hard for them to remember everything each candidate says. The clearer your answers, the easier it will be for the hiring manager to interview you and remember you after the interview ends.
If you can answer questions by providing concrete examples from your experiences, do so! For example, if you are asked about your leadership experience, list a few ways you have been a leader. Talk about your experiences as a CRUX leader, a Christos leader, or a Mount Ambassador Campus Tour Guide to show that you are indeed a leader. If asked about where you want to be in five years, keep it career related. You don’t want to tell your potential employer that you want to be married with kids and working part-time in a few years. There is nothing wrong with this plan but, from the hiring manager’s viewpoint, they probably won’t hire someone who doesn’t plan to be around very long! Express how you want to be actively contributing to your company or industry for many years to come. Overall, do your best to answer each question honestly, clearly, and confidently. Always prepare a list of questions to ask the hiring manager about the job, company, and requirements. This gives you a competitive advantage over the other candidates because many people do not do this.
At the end of the interview, Jillian gave me a grade and recommended doing another mock interview with her or another Career Center staff member. I truly enjoyed this experience and am grateful for the tools and the guidance Jillian gave me to improve upon my strengths and overcome my weaknesses. I highly recommend this free service that the Career Center offers to all Mount students, especially seniors. I am already looking forward to my next one!