Monday/Wednesday Discussion — Mock Interviews A’Comin’


Since a couple of you have your 2nd mock interview coming up in the next few weeks, and a few of you will be having your 1st mock interview soon, I thought this an appropriate topic of discussion. Remember, your resume and portfolio are not your only tools for selling yourself during an interview–there are many aspects that should be considered before going into an interview.

Read each of the short articles below first.  Then, I want you to respond to the following questions:

1.  What are the the three most relevant tips from the articles that you are already prepared for? Explain why and how.
2. What are the three most relevant tips that you need to work on?  Explain why.
3. Do you have a hard time selling yourself in general?  Explain why.

When responding to your classmates, be sure you include anything that they can do to overcome what they have a hard time with about selling themselves, how they can work on those relevant tips they listed, and just make sure it is a conversation in general.

Your initial response is due by 5:59 P.M. Wednesday, November 13th.  Your initial response should be 250+ words.

Your responses to two of your classmates are due by 5:59 P.M. Monday, November 18th, 2013. These responses must be at least 75+ words.


22 responses

  1. The three most relevant tips that I am prepared for are: Looking the part, being positive and knowing my skills. I think I clean up ok. I have a few pieces in my wardrobe that are professional for interviews. I do like to show my personality but not stand out in a negative manner. I do like what one site said about being aware of nonverbal communication. I think this is just as important as what you wear. I am a glass half full person. I think it comes out in my speech and my humor. I know what I my skills are. I am confident in who I am.
    Three items that I feel I need to work on are: explaining how my skills will relate to my career change, having prepared “for example” sound bites and smoothly integrating my portfolio into my TMAY. I know what I am good at but I need to research how my specific skills will help me in my new career. I need to know so I can relay that to an interviewer. Along with that I need to make sure I have “for example” in mind. The last thing I want to do in an interview is ho hum. I need to practice, practice and practice. Being confident with my TMAY will help me control my interview.
    I do not believe I have a hard time selling “me.” As I said above, I know who I am professionally. I am confident when it comes to my job, and my schooling. I know where I am in my life and where I want to be. The final tip from site #2: Don’t be afraid of offending people or losing customers because of who you are. Learn not to worry about what others think because as the old cliché goes; “Those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind.” You’ll find your peers if you just continue to be open and honest. Just be you.

  2. The three most relevant tips that I need to work on would probably be the following;

    1. Be positive.
    I’m not very good at being positive. I’ve always been more of a pessimist, and if I’m nervous then being positive is going to be even harder. I definitely need to work on this one.

    2. Be Sold on Yourself.
    I am not at all sold on myself. I need to improve on this the most, probably.

    3. Be Aware of Nonverbal Communication.
    I’m good at reading this on others, usually, but not so much on myself. This section says holding something in your lap makes you seem closed off and stuff, which is something that never really occurred to me. If I am holding something, I definitely keep it close to me, whether it’s on my lap or in my arms. I never really recognized this as acting closed off, so I guess I need to improve on paying more attention to my own nonverbal communications.

    As for relative tips that I’m already prepared for, I’m not really prepared for any of them. I’ve never really had to be, and I’m really not very good at any of them. I need to improve on all of the tips, not just the three above.

    I do have a hard time selling myself in general. I don’t have any experience, and I don’t feel like I have a lot of qualities to bring to the table, either, so it makes it a bit difficult.

    1. Being positive and being sold on your self will come with practice and time. Interface definitely pushes you towards that. There were several things that I was not prepared for 18 weeks ago. Take the professional criticism and grow from it. Take the Professional Development program and use it to your advantage. Nonverbal communication is a big one. Merely crossing your arms tells someone that you are “closed off.” When you have your portfolio in an interview, set it out in front of you on the desk or table. That way you won’t feel the need to keep it close. Pick one thing you know you do well and be confident in that. Practice will help you grow.

      1. Thank you for the advice! I do hope it will come in time, and I plan do to my best. Hopefully everything will go well! And yeah, I guess crossing your arms could say that. I never really thought about that because I cross my arms often even if I’m not closing myself off from people. It’s just comfortable! But I do see how it could be read that way. I do plan on practicing.

    2. Non-verbal communication it something I think that no one really thinks about, but it really is all about the first impression. Body language and the you carry yourself can tell people a lot about you they can tell if your insecure or nervous just by body language. They tell you that when you are in an interview not to cross your arms it shows lack of confidence. You should appear relaxed but not so relaxed that you seem as if you are not paying attention. The mock interviews will help you a lot I promise! I know they are nerve racking but they helped me a lot when I was in college the first time.

      1. Yeah I have heard about the fact that crossing your arms shows a lack of confidence. Yeah, I’ve never really thought about body language too much, so I suppose I’ll have to start paying more attention. It’s hard to appear relaxed when you’re really nervous, though! I plan on working on that, however. I hope the mock interviews will help, though. I’m sure they will, especially since I’ll be able to tell what I’ve done wrong.

  3. One of the most relevant tips that I’m prepared for is being myself and knowing how to do just that because I’ve have been myself for a while now and I don’t let things around me change me. Another is I’m a great problem solver when I take the time to think out a problem I will eventual solve it. Lastly I’m really good at keeping eye contact with whoever I’m talking to or being talked to by even if the conversation loses my interest I continue to listen and respond to any questions.
    One of the most relevant tips that I need to work on is self-worth, because I’ve always have struggled with this one for the fact I’m a normal teenager that lives at home and plays videogames my idea of my self-worth is quite low. Another is I’m not positive and enthusiastic about everything unless it suites me which I need to work on a lot, because I just don’t get excited from things that have very small relevance to my future goals in life like going out to get exercise, to me this is not fun and more of a hassle than anything. Lastly I need to smile more, I’ve been told that even when I’m happy I don’t smile much, I feel this is because I don’t know that I’m not smiling most of the time and to me a straight face feels like a smile to me.
    I have always had a tough time selling myself like said before I just don’t like talking about myself much I’d rather not give away any information.

    1. im not sure what to say to that first part man, afterall change is life. things that dont change, become stagnant, which in turn becomes fetid and rotten. also a small tip on how to smile more; spend about five minutes each morning or night in front of the mirror, and think back on things you thought were funny, and smile at yourself.

    2. Calvin I think that you should have a more positive view of yourself. You are incredibly intelligent, more so than the average Joe. I find it difficult to be positive and enthusiastic about certain things too. If it’s something I’m not interested in or there is nothing that I get out of it, I don’t always give it my all. I’ve worked with you throughout my whole time at Interface. So have some self-worth because you have helped me a lot.

  4. 1. What are the three most relevant tips from the articles that you are already prepared for? Explain why and how.

    I thought I was doomed when this question came up because I did not find anything within the first article that I found I have already prepared for. But in the second article I found things that I believe I am capable of and even good at. This particular article it talked about how one of the easiest ways to sell yourself, is to be yourself! I have found that this is one of the best things that I can do I have ever had a problem being myself in any situation. I usually try to make light of problems that I know can be fixed which employers tend to like, when you freak out over simple problems it can make the job more stressful then it is. The other tip in this article that I thought I had a handle on was the fact that I’m not afraid to share my feelings with others. Share your mistakes was a big one, I am not afraid to take responsibility for my actions if I messed up I know it and I will fess up to it without being asked. I get this a lot in my current field of work. Just last week one of our prep guys broke the four thousand dollar mixer and I did not to find out tell two days later went to use it to make cheese cake. My chef was so mad, but he would not have been to mad if the person who did it just came out and said it that day instead of waiting two days to say something. The last thing in the article I thought I was prepared for was being able to ask questions and listen. I always ask questions about everything, maybe that is why I cannot hang on to a woman or why religion doesn’t work for me I ask to many questions. I had braces for about six years and I always asked questions about what the orthodontist was doing and he always answered my questions to the best of his ability.

    2. What are the three most relevant tips that you need to work on? Explain why.

    I think that the first tip I would need to work on would be the fact that I need to be sold on myself. I have a hard time finding confidence in myself especially in this point in time. There are a lot in my personal life that I’m not happy about and that is something only I can change no one else. I am also scared to start in a new job field; I have done the same thing for so long that moving to a new job field that has nothing to do with what I’m doing now can be a little nerve raking. I also have a hard time being positive it is something I have struggled with for a long time. But I am slowly learning that when I surround myself with positive people I am more positive and have more confidence in myself. Remembering to smile makes a big difference as well. Being real can also be a big hurdle for me, when you give respect you get respect which is something I think we all struggle with from time to time.

    3. Do you have a hard time selling yourself in general? Explain why.

    Yes I do! I have a very hard time finding my self-worth I need to remember that I am worth more than what I think I am. I deserve to work hard for what I want; I deserve to be where I want to be. And as of now I am not where I would like to be in life but the only person that can make that happen is me. That was the biggest reason for me to go back to school, so I could have some self-worth!

    1. Austin
      I completely understand trying to balance your professional and personal confidence. My professional confidence is extremely higher as well. I think you need to redefine what self-worth is. YOU define your self-worth, not others. I am not freaked out yet because I still have a while to go. I am working towards a complete 180 in my career field. Right down to my co-workers. Just know you are not sailing alone in your adventure. Interface students and staff are here to help you along the way. If you walk and talk with you head high you will eventually do it without trying.

    2. Austin just in the few weeks I’ve been I class with you not once not twice but three times you have stated that you’re an amazing cook that I can remember I’m pretty sure it was more but to the point I’m making you do have confidence you just have to find it in yourself to put it forth into other things along with cooking. Also I believe you’re more than capable of being able to readjust to a new job you have that personality that says I can do anything.

      1. actually, i agree with calvin here man, you do seem to give off the “anything’s possible” vibe, even if you arent feeling it. my only suggestion, is that confidence comes from knowledge of something. you are confident with your cooking skills because its like second nature to you, and i would assume that you enjoy it. so my suggestion would be to learn as much about your new career choice as much as possible, and remember that smiling and a positive attitude can get you a long way in life

    3. yeah, self confidence can be tough if it doesnt come nauturally, and it can be even harder to find the fine line between confidence and arrogance, but it can only be done if you try. being positive can also be hard, but like you stated above, it’s alot easier when the people you surround yourself with are positive. smiling can be tough, especially in hard situations, but i was told once, that if you can smile at yourself, at least once a day, in good humour, you can smile at just about anything, and so far, its been proven right. i try to smile at stuff i do, or have done throughout the day, and laugh at my mistakes. life is alot brighter when you see things in a positive light, and while that can definitely be hard, it can also make life easier.

    4. I too am scared to start a new career. I’ve been in the same field for the last seven years but I feel confident that I will do well only because it is something that I have enjoyed doing in the past. Getting back in the administration field is something that I think I will be able to ease back into only because when I was in that field I was in it for so long that it really hasn’t gone away. It’s like riding a bike, once you’ve learned you never forget. I believe that you will do well in your new career, especially since school will help you learn what is needed for you to start a new career. From what I’ve seen, you seem to be a positive person and I do not get the feeling that you lack confidence. I know it’s hard to be positive when your personal life is not. I had a hard time separating it at first but then I learned to separate the two.

    5. Austin I think that you are really good at selling yourself. You have a ton of confidence and you show that with your body language and the way you speak. I think you are extremely positive and your comment about hanging out with positive people is a great idea. I have learned that your attitude and your personality can be greatly affected by the people you hang out with. I also think that you are working extremely hard and in a short time you will start to see rewards from that hard work.

  5. The three most relevant tips that I am prepared for are: looking the part, knowing my skills and that I am not afraid to share my feelings with others. I feel confident that I would dress appropriately for whatever the dress code was for that position. I wouldn’t show up in jeans and a t-shirt for an interview even if was for a fast food place. I am confident of my skills. Even though I have been out of the administrative field for some time now, I feel confident that I would be able to accomplish the basic office skills required in that type of environment. I believe in myself and that it would all come back to me. I am a quick learner and know that whatever is brought my way I will be able to acquire the required skills. I believe by not saying what is on your mind hinders your work performance and moral. I believe that by sharing your feelings of a certain situation or concern helps relieve that stress you may be under. Hopefully by being truthful and straight forward will help resolve whatever the problem may be. I have no problem owning up to my mistakes if that may be the case. One of the relevant tips I need to work on is sound tips. I wouldn’t know where to begin with that. I also need to work on asking questions. I usually don’t have too many questions to ask or if I do I forget what they are and remember them after the fact. I do have hard time selling myself at times. If its within my work no, because I feel confident with my relationship with my boss. I guess it just depends on the situation. For a new job, I may have a difficult time because I would be very nervous and hope that my words would come out the way I wanted them to.

  6. 1. What are the three most relevant tips from the articles that you are already prepared for?
    I have taken classes at Worksource on preparing for interviews and a lot of the stuff in these articles are things they taught me. I still find it difficult and extremely nerve racking to go through the interview process. I learned how to sell myself without seeming arrogant. I know you’re supposed to be yourself and I’ve tried to do that in every interview I’ve ever been in. Being yourself sounds very simple but for some reason it’s a lot more complicated. Having a positive and enthusiastic attitude is also something I’ve worked very hard on. No employer wants to hire someone who has a bad attitude. Not only is it depressing but it can rub off on other employee’s and hinder your work. Believing your worth selling is something I’ve worked very hard on and it’s also the most difficult for me. I don’t always have a positive view of myself but you can’t let an employer know that. Even if your depressed and not feeling particularly good about yourself, then lie through your teeth.
    2. What are the three most relevant tips that you need to work on? Explain why.
    Being aware of nonverbal communications is something I need to work on. For me, body language and facial expressions have always been very difficult. I find myself smiling at inappropriate moments or laughing at something that wasn’t meant to be funny. Asking questions and listening is something I need to work on too. When I ask a question I tend to start letting my mind wander and thinking about other things when I should be listening to their response. I’ve also never prepared a sound bite and that’s something I would like to look into.
    3. Do you have a hard time selling yourself in general? Explain why.
    I have a hard time selling myself but I’ve practiced it a lot and I know what I usually say. What throws me off is when they start asking me questions. Sometimes it goes good but sometimes I say the wrong things. Or after the interview is over and I’m driving home I start thinking about the questions and come up with better answers than the ones I gave them. I tend to get nervous in an interview and that’s something that I need to work on.

    1. Jonathan I’ve been your table mate for the entire few weeks of school and I don’t think that you let your mind wander because you ask me question if you miss something then you remember it after that, if you let your mind wander after any questions you’ve asked you wouldn’t have made it thus far. You’re a great listener and a great person to work with, even though you say your bad with nonverbal communications I have understood what you were trying to say by the way you looked so I say you can communicate nonverbal quite well, you just need more confidence in yourself.

    2. It’s great that you have a positive attitude and you’ve worked hard to get there. It’s a positive step to getting to where you want to be. Having a good attitude towards your work will help out in the long run especially if you want to move yourself up within the company you are working for. It also helps out with the team morale you work with. Sometimes letting your boss know you are having a particular issue or issues may help you out and turn something negative to a positive. I believe that having a good relationship with your boss is a positive step to succeeding. It doesn’t have to on a personal level but a professional one. I also need to work on nonverbal communications. I do tend to not have any facial expressions and give the people around me the wrong impression of my attitude.

  7. three ways i am already prepared for are being positive, asking questions and smiling genuinely. I always try to have a positive attitude, and i love smiling. Asking questions helps me learn what i need to do and what needs to get done

    three areas im not so prepared for are thinking like an interviewer, because i have no actual experience in interviews, staying focused on specifics, as i tend to babble when im nervous, and being aware of nonverbal communication, mostly because im unaware of how to talk non-verbally.

    i dont think i have a hard time selling myself, but a lack of employment seems to say otherwise.

    1. I have found that if you ask the right questions people seemed to be impressed and you sure are pretty smiley in class most of the time, maybe that will rub off on me a little. I like that we have such positive people in our class. It makes me smile which it great, happiness can be contagious. When it comes to your lack of interview skills just remember that it is a communication skill and skills can be learned. You will have time to develop these skills while you are in school make sure to focus on the professional development course. The mock interviews alone will help a great deal with the anxiety that comes with interviewing.

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