Today I was participated in Interview-pa-looza, a mock interview event for students of Ramapo College, which the organizers describe as "the speed dating of interview prep."
I'm a huge fan of the format of this event because it emphasizes practice and coaching. Instead of sitting in a room hearing about interview techniques for an hour, the students are practicing with volunteers and receiving feedback.
How it works:
• Three 12-minute rounds of 12 students rotating through 3 interviewers
• Interviewers grouped by question type - behavioral, situational, and resume-related
• Within the 12-minute session, the interviewer asks a question /questions, the student
responds, the interviewer provides immediate feedback/coaching
• A wrap-up after each round, allowing interviewers to share general observations
A few quick hit interview tips from the wrap-up round (I'm paraphrasing).
Malik Abdur-Razzaq, MPH, Director Marketing and Enrollment, Partners Health Plan
- Research the company and come with questions about the company and the role. When the inevitable question, "Do you have any questions for me?" comes from the interviewer, the answer is "Yes."
Francisco Montes, PHR, Associate Director, Talent Development, Liberty Science Center
- Video interviews are becoming more common so you should prepare for them ahead of time. Find a quiet, well-lit, and clean space so you can make a good impression. Also, eye-contact in this context means looking at the camera, not their eyes on the screen.
Joe Kwon, Owner, JoeKwonJoe Coaching
- Don't think of a question as a container that you have to fill with your answer. It's a means to learn more about you. So consider how you can connect with the interviewer and put yourself in the best light. In most cases, it's not about answering the question right.
This well-run and popular event is organized by LaQuan Norman and Cynthia Gutiérrez Michalewski. They always welcome volunteers so please reach out to them if you are interested in participating and would like to pay it forward in honor of those who helped you early in your career. I highly recommend it!
LaQuan Norman, Associate Director, The Career Center at the Anisfield School of Business, Ramapo College of New Jersey - firstname.lastname@example.org
Cynthia Gutiérrez Michalewski, Assistant Director/Career Advisor, Anisfield School of Business , Ramapo College of New Jersey - email@example.com