Why Would I Want A Mock Interview?


I can just imagine many of you reading today’s blog about the benefits of a mock interview. You of whom I envision are thinking to yourselves, “I don’t like interviews, they’re so stressful! So why, when I don’t like them in the first place, would I voluntarily want to do more interviews? Especially when they aren’t even real! No thanks; interviews are painful, nerve-wracking and overall a negative experience to be avoided as much a possible. So a mock interview? No thank you!”

That’s a pretty strong reaction, but for many I’ve met over the years, it accurately sums up their feelings. They see choosing to ask for a mock interview like asking to have a root canal when there’s no need for one – just to be ready for the real thing if/when needed. Yep, a big NO.

The unfortunate reality of those who avoid the mock or practice interview is this: without practice, there’s no opportunity to get feedback and improve on their performance, so the outcome is performing poorly in the real thing. Poor interview performance of course leads to one thing; an unsuccessful outcome and having therefore to apply for more jobs and go to more interviews. Yet somehow, it seems preferable to some people to avoid all the research, practice, feedback, adjustments to delivery and just wing it. Not to sound trite but I ask you, “How’s that working out?”

Now there’s three possible outcomes you can arrive at when you typically go about interviewing by just winging it.

  • You succeed and get a job offer
  • You fail and keep on going about things the same way
  • You fail and decide to get help and improve your odds of success

It’s that first one; that belief that despite the odds, you could succeed without ever having to go through practice interviews, that keeps people from seeking out help. It’s very much like a lottery; the odds are heavily stacked against you succeeding if you interview poorly, but there is that slim chance of success and you’ll hang on to that if it means avoiding practice interviewing. The irony is that the people who avoid mock interviews are typically the ones who could benefit the most.

So what goes on in a mock interview? Let me just say to be clear here, I’m not talking about a couple of questions you give your partner or close friend to ask here. The problem with these willing and well-intentioned people taking you through the mock interview is their reluctance to point out areas to improve because of your potential negative and volatile reaction to their feedback. And if we’re honest, you’re likely to dismiss what you don’t want to hear anyhow and tell them they don’t know what they are talking about because they aren’t an expert!

If the mock interview with friends or family works for you however, great. It’s a start and who knows, they might just observe and hit on some things that turn the experience around, helping you land that job offer. If so, well done everyone!

However, if you really want to maximize your odds of success, it’s good advice to seek out the support and feedback from a professional. Employment Coaches, Employment Counsellors and others who provide job search coaching are the people you’re after here. Many of these people can be contracted with at no charge through community social service organizations. If you’ve got the desire and the funds, you can also contract with a professional privately too.

Now, some of you I’m sure are raising the argument that if you’re out of work already and funds are tight, why on earth would you lay out your money and pay someone to put you through the mock interview? The answer of course is one you instinctively know already; if it increases your odds of success and getting offered a job, that’s money well spent. But I don’t want to appear to be just writing an ad for buying services people like me provide.

So what would a mock interview look like? Well, depending on the person you’re getting help from, it could look like this:

You meet and discuss how you’ve prepared in the past. Maybe a couple of questions get tossed out just to determine what you’ve been saying to date. From these, a baseline is established. An Employment Counsellor / Job Coach will provide feedback on:

  •  First Impressions (Clothing, Body Language, Handshake, Hygiene, Posture, Tone of   Voice, Eye Contact)
  •  Answers (Quality, Length, Sticking To A Format Or Winging It, Are You Answering The Questions? Using Examples?)
  •  Suggestions For Improvement (Some Quick Improvements and Some Longer To Master)
  •  Final Impressions (Ideas On How To Wrap Up The Interview On A Positive)

Now of course this doesn’t include how to prepare for and follow up on your interviews; both of which are extremely important and both of which you’d get a lot of help with from a professional.

Interviewing methods evolve over time and how you may have succeeded in the past could no longer be working. I suppose the real question here is whether or not you are performing well enough in your job interviews to land job offers. If you’re getting a high percentage of interviews for those you apply to, and if those same interviews are resulting in job offers, you don’t need help.

If on the other hand, you seldom get interviews at all, and the ones you do get don’t result in job offers, do yourself a favour and think seriously about getting help – and that includes mock interviews and feedback.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

From Their Side Of The Interview


Let me just say right off the top, if you’ve got a job interview in your future and you really want the interview to conclude with a job offer, please do yourself a huge favour and meet with a professional who can evaluate and improve your interview skills. Just because you’re currently working doesn’t mean you will perform well in the interview.

Not only will you improve your own skills in interviews, you’ll make the interview process so much more enjoyable for the interviewers sitting across from you. Nothing is worse for an interviewer than realizing in the first question or two that the applicant before them is ill-prepared.

I had an interesting conversation with someone recently who was shared their experience interviewing job applicants. I’ve included for you here some of the observations shared with me.

One applicant when asked a question gave their answer and then concluded with, “Did I answer the question?” Well, if you think about it, what’s the interviewer going to say? They could hardly say, “No actually you didn’t”, and then move on. Whatever comes out of your mouth is your responsibility. If you’re unsure, the appropriate question to ask is, “Could you repeat the question please?”

You’ve probably been told time and time again to do your research before going into an interview. That message was either never received or ignored by another applicant. When asked what they knew about the organization the person confessed they didn’t really know much. When further asked about the community in which they’d be working and their knowledge of the organizations they’d be interacting with, the applicant had no idea about either. Score on this question? Zero.

We’re not talking about uneducated and non-qualified applicants here. These are people whom on paper, have the educational qualifications and experience acquired elsewhere. What they lack however is damaging their chances of  employability; things they could easily do to improve are being ignored and overlooked.

In one situation, a candidate showed very little energy or enthusiasm as they answered each question. While saying they were passionate about the work they do, the answer was delivered with a monotone voice, showing no excitement, no emotion, no genuine interest. In other words, the interviewer had a hard time reconciling their words with they body language and their tone of voice. What was very concerning was the same person finally did show some life and energy as they talked poorly about their current supervisor; whom they described in very unflattering terms. There’s obviously a problem in that relationship, and talking about that person badly with real emotion only left the interviewer extremely worried that this person might bring their share of that bad relationship to this new organization. Yikes!

Now it may not sound like something you’re doing wrong, but with several of the applicants they recently interviewed for a senior position, they failed to actually answer the question asked. The interviewer shared with me that they’d put a question to those applying, asking them to share how they’d demonstrated leadership qualities in the past. Rather than actually giving an example, one applicant declared they’d never actually been in a supervisory position before and stopped talking. Leadership isn’t confined to those who work in management. Many front-line employees demonstrate leadership qualities and have the examples to prove it too. Score on this one? Zip.

And the poor answers continued. When you interview for a job, the interviewer is always interested to hear about what you’ve done, how you’ve acted, the impact you’ve had and they want to hear examples that prove you’ve done what you claim. Notice all the, ‘you’s’ in that sentence? You are the one interviewing after all, So it’s unfortunate and a critical fail when an applicant fails to actually talk about themselves. More than one applicant when asked about their contribution in a team setting, focused entirely on what the team was challenged with and how they responded as a team. The problem with this answer was the person gave no indication of their specific contribution to the team, anything they initiated, any suggestion they made that was acted on and most importantly, any positive outcome that came about because of their actions.

Taking credit for the work of a team isn’t what the interviewer wanted to hear, but they did want to hear what role the person being interviewed had in the team, as this was the person they were interviewing; not the entire team. And for all the interviewer knew when they finished their answer, this applicant could have been dead weight and a drag on the team. Nothing was said about their personal role or investment; nothing was included as to the outcome.

As our conversation wound down, the interviewer confided in me that they wished all the applicants had performed better. They wanted to see these people succeed and showcase themselves at their best. Unfortunately, they underperformed and scored poorly in almost all cases. It’s not that the interviewer asked difficult questions, and they suspect that the applicants walked away oblivious to their shortcomings and if asked, would say they performed well. In other words, they are unlikely to seek out the help they need to be successful moving forward; most unfortunate.

I urge you to learn how to perform better in interviews. You may be the pro at your job, but get help so you perform well and compete at your best.

Interviewing When You Know The Interviewer


Which is easier, interviewing for a job when you’re unemployed, or interviewing for a job when you’re being interviewed by people who already know and/or supervise you?

Just to clarify things before you answer, you might be wondering how you could possibly be interviewed by your current boss for a promotion. Well, it could be that you’re a temporary hire and you actually have to re-interview for a permanent position and compete for it with employees from other departments or even external applicants. Or, you might be applying for a promotion to another position altogether and your long-time boss just recently advanced to a position where – surprise! – if/when selected, they’d become your boss again. So it happens.

Many believe that being interviewed by someone who already knows you would be infinitely easier. After all, they know what you’re capable of, they know the successes you’ve had, how you go about your job everyday, your great attendance and punctuality; the interview will be more of a formality than anything. Making these kinds of assumptions is extremely dangerous and ill-advised.

Why you ask? After all, they KNOW you. Well, the answer is simply that you’re in danger because you may fall into the trap of not fully answering questions with the details and examples you’d give to someone you didn’t know. Instead of providing these concrete examples of things you’ve accomplished you might say things like, “Well, you know what I’m capable of”, or “You’ve seen how I handle problems, and I’ll continue to work the same way.”

On the other side of the table, this person who knows you intimately is struggling. You see they want you to interview to your best, and they may even really want to hire you. The problem? They may be bound to record only what you actually say in response to the questions asked, and you may be scored solely based on what comes out of your mouth; not what they know you to be capable of but you leave unsaid.

I’ve heard from employers who have told me they have passed over people they knew well and who were very qualified, because in the interview itself they scored exceptionally low. Their interview scores were weak because they took for granted that the interviewer would score them high based on their relationship and telling the interviewer what they already knew wasn’t necessary.

This boss who knows you well may be rooting for you to perform highly in the interview, but they may be one of two or three people conducting the interview, and they can hardly act unprofessional and at some point in the interview start coaching you on how to best respond if you’re oblivious to the fact you’re failing to demonstrate and prove you’ve done what you claim.

The best advice I can give you is to prepare for all interviews the same; whether you know someone doing the interviewing or not. Be prepared to compete for the job and if you have to make some assumptions, assume you’ll get no favours on the other side; that you have to give specific examples from your past that prove you’ve got the experience, education and skills demanded of the position you’re competing for. Sure, you might start talking in detail about an experience the interviewer knows just as well, but you’ll be scored highly on referencing that example and for using skill-based language that interviewers are listening for.

I myself went for just such an interview many years ago now. I was a temporary employee in a position and just weeks after starting the job, the permanent posting came out. I literally had to interview a second time with the person who had interviewed me the first time. I was competing with others, and my advantage was that I was currently in the role. I treated the interview the only way I knew how at the time, by making no assumptions of favouritism, giving examples of my work which yes, I knew the one interviewer already was aware of. As I answered, I saw smiles of recognition throughout the interview, as I talked about things I’d accomplished and outcomes I’d achieved in the past; just as I did in the original interview. Only later did I learn that I’d taken the right approach. Another employee in the same situation had also interviewed for the role, (there were three jobs available) and was not successful because they gave short answers and heavily relied on the boss to fill in the details.

You might lose out on a job when you’re an external applicant and the job goes to someone already employed in the company. When this happens, you might assume they had the job already sewn up and the interview was a sham; just a necessary formality where you weren’t given an honest shot at the job. This does happen of course. However, sometimes, you lose out because the internal employee really does outperform you in the scoring system the interviews use.

To improve your chances of success when interviewing, make no assumptions if/when you know the interviewer and they in turn know you. Treat the interview as if you were meeting them for the first time and they know nothing about you. It’s up to you to demonstrate and prove you’re the best person for the job. Use all your experiences to your advantage by citing them and make no assumptions.

 

How Do I Explain A 10 Year Gap?


12

Today I sat down with a woman who hasn’t worked in the last ten years. “This is a huge problem for me. I mean, what do I say?” The look she gave me as she asked this question flooded poor self-image, a lack of hope, embarrassment; take your pick.

Well, I replied with the same reply I ask anyone who has been out of work for a period of time. I asked her politely to confide in me and tell me the real reason she’s been out of work so long. You see I have a mindset which is that there isn’t a problem I can’t solve or an issue I can’t strategize for when it comes to overcoming a dreaded question and performing well in an employment interview. That may sound cocky and I don’t mean to. What I mean is that anytime I sit down with someone who presents with a problem – big or small, I go in with a mindset of being able to provide this person with a viable solution at the end. If one doesn’t work, I’ll come up with another possible answer. The one that works for the person I’m helping is the one they choose and the one they feel they can pull off.

Maybe you’ve got a problem issue that you dread coming up in a job interview too. That question that inevitably gets asked just when you thought the interview was actually going well for a change. Take heart, maybe you benefit too.

So the reason? “I raised my girls.” Hmm… I’ve heard this before. Heard it before yes, but never from this woman. And this is crucial for anyone reading this who also helps others with interview preparation. You will hear over and over again the same tough questions people face, but please, never lose sight of the fact that this person sitting before you has never raised this issue of you. If you never lose sight of this and tune in like you’re hearing this for the first time, the person feels so validated and connected with just by your response, they’ll actually tell you more.  And this was the case today.

In just a moment or two, I arrived at the real reason she’d been out of work for 10 years. It went something like this:

“So what’s the real reason you’ve been out of work for 10 years. Tell me.”

“I raised my girls.”

“That was important for you. (Pause) Any other reason?”

“Well, my ex; he was abusive.”

And there it was; the answer to the question. Well, if not THE answer, it was at the very least one possible answer she could consider giving if and when asked. The key in finding out if the answer would work for her is in letting her actually hear it delivered as she might deliver it so she could gauge the strength of the answer. Hence, I asked her to reverse our roles, and pose the question to me as if I was her.

“Okay, so why have you been out of work for 10 years?”

“That’s a fair question and I wish I had a better answer. The truth is I was in an abusive relationship with a controlling partner who refused to allow me to work. He kept me at home raising our children. I’m no longer in that relationship and it took some time to relocate, rebuild my self-confidence; something I’m still working on. I tell you though I’m mentally and physically ready to work and I will arrive each day with a willingness to learn, grateful for the opportunity and you’ll have a worker who does their best.”

“I like it” she said. When I told her this was just one possible way to answer the question and offered to give her other suggestions, she stopped me. This one resonated with her because of the honesty, and she felt for the first time she wasn’t on the spot to make something up, like totally fabricated employment, which she said she’d been told to do by someone else.

Do you know how I could tell this answer will work for her? I read her face. Whereas I’d seen low self-image, hopelessness and embarrassment at the outset, now I saw hope, possibilities, relief.

Now, here’s the hard part if you yourself have a sticky situation that makes answering some interview question a major problem. You have to find someone you can confide the truth in – whatever it is. Only when I know the real reason behind your problem can I offer up a possible resolution that you might adopt. If you hold back on that truth, any possible solution will be based on what you share, for how could it be based on what is kept hidden?

So, criminal record, abuse, fired, exploited…what’s your issue? What is the question you dread in an interview? Whatever you fear won’t be diminished until you come up with a solid response that puts fear in its place. The only way to come up with that solid response is to lay it out and that takes courage.

For the record, I’m confident that wherever you are in the world as you read this, there is someone with the empathy, understanding and most importantly the expertise to guide you and counsel you through your own situation.

Reach out in your neck of the woods and all the best my friend.

 

Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?


When I’m facilitating workshops on improving one’s performance in job interviews, I often begin by asking those participating to share with me any questions they find difficult to answer. Among the questions which often come up is, ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’

In coming up with your answer for this question; and every other question you will be asked by the way, do your best to understand the purpose of the question. While you are doing your best to impress the interviewers and get a job offer, from their side of the table, they are looking for reasons to rule candidates out and hire the last person remaining. In other words, answering this question well can leave you in the hunt, answering it poorly can leave you out of the running.

So, what’s behind the question? They might be checking to see if you’ve got ambition and see yourself having been promoted within the organization. While this strikes most people as surely a positive thing, it could trigger an area to be concerned about in the mind of the interviewer. Why? If they see you’ve already got your eyes on a more senior role in the organization, they could be going through this same hiring process in a short time; something they don’t want to do. Hiring and training people takes time and money, and in return for that investment in hiring new people, they want and expect to get a return on that investment. When it’s all about you and your career advancement, that doesn’t show an understanding and empathy for the employer’s situation.

Now on the other hand, some employer’s hope and expect you’ll outgrow an entry-level position, and if you stay with the company, they’d like you to advance having spent some time on the front-line. This way you’ve got an appreciation and first-hand experience of what it’s like to work at the bottom and this can shape your work as you move up. If you show no ambition beyond the job after 5 years, they may look at you as stagnating and dead weight.

I have found a combination of the two above positions to be ideal for most people in most job interviews. Doing research into an organization and the people who work in the role you’re after should reveal some insights that will aid you with the question. If however, you fail to unearth any clues about how long people typically stay in the job you’re after, you still need an answer. See what you think of this:

Let me assure you my focus at this time is securing this position and investing myself in the job; ensuring you in turn get a return on your investment in hiring me. That being said, I’d like to take part in any courses, cross-training or collaborative projects which will put me in a position to compete successfully for opportunities which may present themselves in the future.

You see a lot can happen in 5 years. While you and the interviewer might both have ideas of how things will look in that time, you both are looking at the future armed only with what you know in the present with respect to the future. As time evolves, opportunities may present themselves for an organization to launch new products, expand or contract, re-brand themselves entirely, move or perhaps stay largely exactly as they are. All kinds of factors may impact your personal direction and ambition.

Now there are some answers which effectively take you right out of the running in the mind of some interviewers. Suppose you shared that you and your partner plan on starting your family and having a couple of children over the next 5 years. Doing the math, this could mean you’re off for 2 of those 5 years on maternity leave, and your attendance and performance may become concerning both during pregnancy and once the children are born. Yes you’ve a right to start a family, but the interviewer knows there’ll still be work needing doing, and if they have to hire short-term help to cover your position, well, if they can avoid it, they just might choose someone who doesn’t raise this issue. Best to keep these plans to yourself.

Another possible problem answer is at the other end of the age spectrum. If see yourself as fully retired in 2-3 years, you could take yourself out of the running if they are wanting to hire someone they can make a long-term investment in. You might be perfect however if they are looking to hire someone for only 2-3 years while they restructure their workforce to compete better down the road. Getting what they can out of you for those few years might be pretty appealing and you part ways happily. Just don’t make this answer all about you. Sure you’ll get your pay for a few years and ride off into the sunset, but organizations aren’t entirely charitable. What’s in it for them? Productivity and someone who is totally invested in this single job and not looking beyond it to advance.

Some jobs have a high turnover precisely because they are entry-level, minimum wage jobs and employers expect if you have any ambition you’ll move on. Not everybody wants to climb the ladder though and that’s not a bad thing. Being consistently productive in a job is a wonderful quality; a win-win.

The Impact Of A Smile


A smile is one of the most positive and powerful things you can do for yourself when you find yourself in the company of others. It’s free to use, and it sends a message to other people that you’re approachable, your mood is favourable and it can often transfer to other people you interact with, making your interaction with others likewise positive. Wow! All that from a smile!

The lack of a smile can produce the opposite too. Your lack of a smile can communicate that you’re all business; maybe even a little cold or impersonal. It can send the message that you’re not approachable, your mood is not good, and those you interact with may feel guarded when dealing with you.

Think for a moment of people you interact with often; perhaps your co-workers if you have them. If you’re not employed, think perhaps on someone you see fairly often. Now picture if you can whether they smile often or not, and then consider whether you general consider the interaction you have with them positive or not. My guess is that you generally associate smiling faces with more positive interactions, and the less frequent the smile, the cooler the interaction. Am I right?

Now picture yourself out shopping, at the bank or returning an item to a customer service area. You’re in line awaiting your turn and if you’re like me, you’ve probably looked ahead at the possible people you might interact with and hoped it’s a certain person over the others. I know when I’m standing in a line, I always do this instinctively, and I’ve noticed I usually hope for the man or woman sporting a smile. I just assume my experience is going to be more positive because they’ll make it so; theirs is a cheerful face to start with and hence our interaction will get off to a good start too.

Now employers know the power of a smile. Look at job postings; specifically in the introductions where they describe the role and not the hard-core qualifications. You might see phrases like, “If you’re a people-person”, or “If you’re passionate about providing guests and customers with outstanding service”.  These phrases are put in job postings to alert readers to jobs that will match the right person with what’s to follow. These employers are saying that they are really interested in finding people who will derive immense joy and satisfaction from the high level of interaction you’ll be exposed to. They want people who will come to work energized by that interaction and so find themselves in a good mood; your smile is your visual display of that good mood, positive energy and passion you feel.

We don’t all speak the same language, nor do we experience many things in the same way when we’re from different cultures with different values, etc., but the one thing that is universally understood is the power and effect of the smile.

Now of course, many people don’t smile by nature. It’s not that they are unhappy or cold, it’s just that their resting face tends to have the ends of their mouth droop downwards instead of up or horizontal. It takes these people considerable effort to remember to smile, and the effort is hard to sustain. Consequently, they seem less approachable or maybe overly serious. What’s more, these people are well aware of this themselves from the many people over the years who say, “You look so serious. Anything wrong?” or, “It wouldn’t hurt you to smile a little.” Believe me, you’re not telling them something they don’t already know. For them unfortunately, smiling is a lot of work.

A smile can often be hard to come up with too when you find yourself in a situation that you find stressful. A job interview comes to mind. You’re sitting in reception feeling nervous and trying to remember all you can about the company you’re applying to. You’ve done your homework but are nervous because first impressions mean so much. You’re mentally going through possible questions, what you want to be sure to mention, going over that one challenging thing you expect and then you’re interrupted when you hear your name called. Smiling at this moment means everything, but it might be hard to produce and sustain because the pressure or strain you might feel would seem to call for a serious expression.

Smiles are so important. They can light up a room, and in many cases, it’s the smile that has a ripple effect on the rest of your face. It can make your cheeks glow, your eyes shine a little brighter or twinkle, and completely captivate your audience.

Okay so consider this. When you’re in an interview – typically a stressful thing for many, consider smiling when you recall something pleasant. So if you’re giving an example of your customer service skills and recall interacting with someone whom you had a positive experience with, smile as you recall the moment. it will translate positively and communicate to the person listening that you are positively affected when you deal with others. This is the kind of thing that employers are looking for isn’t it? People who enjoy working for and with others.

So I urge you to smile today; think about it consciously as you go about your day and see if you can put a smile on others faces just by showing your own.

A Mock Job Interview Exercise


I know! I know! Yes, you and just about everyone else dreads job interviews, so why on earth would you find a mock interview helpful? The answer of course is that you and just about everyone else dreads job interviews so it’s likely the case you’re not doing any mock interviews to improve your actual performance when the real thing comes up.

If you’re an Employment Coach/Counsellor and you prepare people for job interviews as part of your role, you know the value in taking all the information you’ve provided to those you’re helping and giving them an interview to show those same skills. This practice interview if it goes well can boost the confidence one has that they can replicate this in future situations, and if it doesn’t go perfectly, you can both find what needs improving and feel good about what aspects did go as planned. In other words, reinforce the good and work on improving areas that need it.

Now for three weeks I’ve been working with a dozen people in a classroom setting. We’ve been specifically addressing issues related to job searching, and both yesterday and today, it all culminates with the big mock interview. This much they knew on day one. What they didn’t know until yesterday was how that mock interview would be conducted. They believed it was going to be a one on one experience; just them and me, isolated in some office away from the other 11 participants.

As it happens, I had a different method in mind. I set up a table in the classroom with three chairs on one side and a single chair on the other. When it was someone’s turn, I had them get up and leave the room, then selected two of their classmates to sit on either side of me one the one side. We three would act as a panel; something many find a little more intimidating. This intimidation wasn’t what I was going for mind, in fact neither person on either side of me was to ask any questions, take notes or even give feedback. They were simply there to create the panel effect. Given that we’ve all been together for three weeks and it’s a supportive group, that intimidation factor was not what you’d otherwise expect with strangers.

I then had a fourth classmate act as the Receptionist, who would go out, welcome the person and bring them in to the panel. After greeting the panel, they’d sit down, set up their material in front of them and away we’d go!

Now had I told the group on day one that it would be a panel interview, that anxiety would have built up over time – even if I’d told them the day before, it would have increased unnecessarily. Why would I want to create extra stress and anxiety over something I want to go well? And go well they have so far.

The other advantage of doing this mock interview in front of their classmates is that those outside the panel and sitting around the room found that by listening to the feedback I was giving each person at the end of their mock interview, they corrected things themselves when it was their turn. I heard people changing, “If you hire me” to “when you hire me.” I also heard them change, “I like what you guys do here” to ” I’m impressed with your organization.” Polishing…

Now the mock interview is a positive experience which works because we’ve had three weeks together to go over expected behaviour, structuring the answers, anticipating the right questions likely to be asked and how to present yourself to your best advantage.

Some of my classmates are Canadian-born and have gone through Canadian interviews all their lives. Others are relatively newcomers, and while they’ve all had job interviews in the past, these people have yet to experience what a Canadian job interview might look like. This mock interview for them, is extremely useful and comforting. After all, get through a mock interview and you’ll feel more confident if you have one in the future.

Today the other six participants have their shot at the mock interview. It’s not a long drawn out affair; a minimum number of questions. What’s significant is to have the experience. All are expected to come ready to answer the questions using the format shared, and all are expected to have a question or two ready to pose as the interview wraps up.

Now, while many were still nervous; and some have stated they are nervous about todays interviews, all of them pushed through the nerves and get on with it. There’s trust you see that I wouldn’t put them in a position to fail – and fail miserably – when I’ve demonstrated for three weeks that I’ve got their success foremost in our mutual best interest. That trust is essential for them and while they don’t know it, that’s the entire key to succeeding. They trust in me and what I’m sharing with them as being in their best interests, and I trust in them to take that same information and use it as best they can. Couldn’t be prouder of them as a group for how they’ve done. No one dropped out of class, attendance has been great, but even greater than the attendance has been the investment they’ve made while present.