Job Interview Workshops Ease Employment Anxiety

Sharese Mirzakhanyan

As we walk through the door, sitting face to face with the employer, we find ourselves surprisingly nervous. Our hearts start pounding, the words don’t seem to come out as we expect, and at that moment all we want is to get through the interview successfully.

The nagging feeling that first impressions mean everything does not seem to go away.
What can we do to prepare for an interview? What if we mess up during the interview? What will the employer think of us? How can we portray ourselves as the right employee?

In order to help students prepare for an interview, the career center held an interview workshop on May 29 from 2 to 3 p.m. Due to low attendance, counselors took in students one at a time to explain the major aspects and go over information regarding the interview process.

Tatyana Bartholomew, student services technician, took the time to explain the main features of an interview and the characteristics employers look for.

“During an interview you are advertising your skills, abilities, and accomplishments. You must become your [own] best spokesperson,” Bartholomew said.

Before going to an interview, one must prepare a resume and study the job announcement, which includes the duties and requirements valuable for the position. Some find it helpful to go through a practice interview. That way one won’t have to anticipate the questions asked.

“Practice makes perfect,” Bartholomew said.

One should practice a style that projects confidence and friendliness.

Dress appropriately, arrive earlier than the scheduled interview, and relax. Qualities employers seek are leadership, flexibility, intelligence, self-confidence, skills, and a great energy level.

A key point to remember is to be confident, but be aware that over confidence will not be appreciated. As the employer is interviewing you, remember to relax and just be yourself. Throughout the interview be sure to point out your valuable skills for the position you have chosen. Since you have already practiced, the interview should be a breeze.

“In the career center, we assist students at various stages of the career development process from helping one choose a college major or a vocational program to prepare individuals to meet the challenges of the modern work force,” Bartholomew said.

Students can use a self-contained database called Discover at the career center, where they can watch actual interviews and search through various questions that may be asked during an interview. Students can critique the performance and listen to the employers and their impressions of the interviewee.

“I personally have used this database before and it is really helpful. It gives you a heads up of the questions you might be asked so you can prepare before hand,” said Carolyn Kasparian, 18, biology major.

Counselors offer valuable information for students to get a head start on their job search. The career center also provides free career assessments to help students decide a path to pursue.

For more information call Tatyana Bartholomew (818) 240-1000, ext. 5407.