Getting ready for the job market

Mock interviews prepare students for the real deal.

Dante Harrold, Staff Writer

Los Medanos College Transfer and Career Services hosted mock interviews with Bayworks and the Jewish Vocational Service Thursday, April 25 in the Library. The afternoon event had 18 Electrical & Instrumentation Technology and Process Technology students being interviewed by seven employers in their field of study.

Each student had a 20-minute interview and 10 minutes for the employers to provide feedback.

“The ultimate goal for the mock interview event was to offer students the opportunity to hone their interviewing skills in an area of career interest and prepare them to be competitive in today’s workforce. JVS and Baywork employers worked in partnership with LMC to make this experience possible to our students.” said Cynthia Perez-Nicholas, Career Services Coordinator at LMC and facilitator of the mock interview event.

The employers seemed enthusiastic about the event with many actively asking questions in regard to how Perez wanted them to act. Perez urged the employers to not go easy on the students.

“Hit them with your best shot,” said Perez, explaining this tough treatment is how people improve themselves.

One area students struggled with was coming up with answers for questions that relate to work experience when they have none. Levi Fuller, one of the employers, advised students to look to other types of experience to make up for their lack of work experience.

“Even though you don’t have work experience that directly address a question look to your personal life, your hobbies, other organizations you’ve been a member,” said Fuller.

Another issue that surfaced was that some students not knowing the appropriate interview attire. There were also complaints because some applications had typos.

The event seemed to have accomplished its goal with students who participated in the event expressing that they benefited from the mock interview. Many appreciated the interviewers’ feedback on what they could improve upon.

“He was very honest,” said William Johnson.

Student Tameem Roshan said it was a “very interesting experience,” the interviews provided him “a lot of good stuff to learn” and the opportunity to build relationships with professionals in their field of study.

The employers’ reactions towards the experience was generally positive as well.

“It’s good to give students feedback on their strengths and weaknesses,” said Fuller, adding that it’s important to help students find employment.

Perez was happy with the outcome and declared the mission was accomplished.

“Students improved their understanding of the job interview experience and partnerships with Bayworks and JVS have become even stronger,” she said, adding she hopes the event’s success will make it an annual thing.

What was learned about the event from student and employer feedback, Perez said, will be applied to the next event. “I am happy to say the employers have expressed interest in returning for another Mock Interview Event at LMC,” said Perez.