As first-year students at Willamette MBA, we must enroll in a class called PACE (Practical Application for Careers & Enterprises). This course aims to provide us with the knowledge and resources to develop our individual career paths. It teaches us how to think and act like managers, how to be effective within teams, and how to excel in the workplace. Last week on Mock Interview Day, we were given the opportunity to practice interviewing for MBA-level jobs with business professionals.
The process leading up to the mock interview included customizing our resumes and cover letters for a given job position. Earlier in the semester, Career Management hosted a resume and cover letter workshop to help us construct our own MBA-level resume and cover letters. We learned how to emphasize our relevant skills on our resumes and tell a story in our cover letters.
The next steps for us included a phone interview with a second-year student in the MBA program and then a face-to-face interview with real recruiters and working professionals. In both scenarios, we were expected to think quickly on our feet to respond effectively and coherently to interview questions. After the phone and mock interviews, we received feedback from interviewers on how we could improve our interview skills.
For me, the experience of doing mock interviews that felt real was beneficial because although my grade was on the line, there was relatively low pressure and low consequences if I messed up in some way. This was a great opportunity to test out the stories that I prepared to answer common interview questions. My biggest take away was to practice answering interview questions in order to be more concise with my answers and to incorporate the job description demands into my answers. With this experience under my belt, I believe I am more experienced and prepared for the real interviews that I will have for my summer internship in the coming months.