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College of Arts and Sciences restructures mock interview program

The College of Arts and Sciences Center for Career and Professional Success now offers “Interview with a Buckeye,” a mock interview event for students. Credit: Courtesy of ASC Career Success

The College of Arts and Sciences Center for Career and Professional Success has restructured the way it provides mock interview opportunities for students, and the first event took place in the Interview Suite in Denney Hall on Thursday and Friday.

The new event has been dubbed “Interview with a Buckeye” because of the support of Ohio State alumni from ASC who expressed interest in giving back to the university by helping students improve their interviewing skills.

Randy Dineen, assistant director for industry connections, said instead of offering mock interviews that students could schedule at any time, the new structure allows students in ASC to sign up through the new Handshake system, Ohio State’s new system for posting job and internship opportunities which replaced FutureLink.

“We thought that instead of doing just one-off mock interviews, it would be just a much more positive experience for the students if alumni and employer partners were doing them,” Dineen said.

Brittany Savko, an alumna who now works as a program manager in the Student Athlete Support Services Office, saw the opportunity posted earlier in the summer on the Ohio State Alumni Association’s volunteer website.

Savko said while this was her first time volunteering with a mock interview, she felt prepared because of her experience conducting interviews within her office, as well as the sample materials that ASC Career Success provided.

“Randy and his team gave us some really helpful mock interview sample questions and some mock interview evaluation sheets just so all of the volunteers today were really prepared,” Savko said.

ASC Career Success made the decision to stop offering mock interviews because of a decrease in student attendance, but lack of interest was not an issue for “Interview with a Buckeye.” During the two days the event was held, all 60 spots available were filled within a couple of weeks of promoting the event, Dineen said.

Students who were not able to sign up could fill out a survey to be included on a waiting list and later be notified when spots were made available to sign up on Handshake.

“With any event that we do, we have students RSVP and then need to back out because of some sort of schedule conflict or some other situation, so we did have some students cancel within the past week or so when we started to send out some reminders,” Dineen said. “As someone needed to back out, we were able to just pull someone off the waitlist.”

Dineen said there have been talks to provide larger spaces in the future to allow for more mock interviews.

Each interview is scheduled to last an hour, Dineen said, with the first 35 to 40 minutes consisting of the practice interview. The remaining time is then dedicated to going over the interviewer’s evaluation of the student.

“It will be exciting to give students feedback. I feel like that’s always a great part of the mock interview process,” Savko said. “Asking the questions, having students answer and then being able to share with them the ways that they answer the questions really well and ways to improve for the future.”

While this event is available only to students in the ASC, Dineen said that students in other colleges are encouraged to talk to their own career services offices to see if they put on similar events or to schedule a mock interview through the Younkin Success Center.

The next “Interview with a Buckeye” event is planned for mid-February.

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