College of Business students gain real-world experience through mock interviews

John Fauss, Reporter

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Graduate students from the College of Business have used multiple techniques to prepare them for the business world outside the confines of college. One of these methods is mock interviews.

Conducting interviews for potential future employer is always a useful skill to master. This includes the ability to show confidence in yourself and display knowledge of your chosen field. People are not born with these skills, however. For many people, it takes years of practice for them to be fully comfortable in an interview setting. This is where the mock interviews come into play.

The interviews were set up to offer local corporate offices Human Resource professionals to come down and conduct interviews with the students — and have the students interview them. The HR graduate majors would conduct the interview with a professional, while MBA and healthcare students were being interviewed by the HR professionals.

There were roughly 10 organizations doing interviews at an event last April. These included companies such as HIMJ, Edward Jones, Special Metals and DIRECTV. Some students even received job offers and real interviews as a result of participating in the mock interviews.

There will be another mock interview event this spring to give students an opportunity to gain experience from the interviews. The College of Business is hoping to make it a biannual event, occurring each semester.

The students treat these mock interviews like they would authentic ones, which means they have to prepare for the interview by researching the company they are assigned. Students were assigned organizations that were based on their fields of study.

Ivan Muslin, assistant professor of management, is one of the people who helped make these interviews a reality.

“We have to see beyond our role as just professors and really are trying to coach them to enter the profession, and that is where I think programs like this are trying to go.”

Gage Niemeyer, MBA graduate student, said an interview is like a sales pitch, except the product you are selling is yourself.

“You pretty much just have to sell yourself,” Niemeyer said. “They are there to hear you speak, and they’re going to ask you questions. It’s your job to try to make your answers relevant to their questions and to be comfortable talking about yourself.”

John Fauss can be contacted at [email protected]

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