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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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09/16/06
Career Discussion before Resume & Mock Interview
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 1:33 pm

From the ACS national meeting in San Francisco, again.
On Tuesday I had the opportunity to meet with a pleasant fellow close to
his Ph. D. from Northwestern. He had very good credentials and wanted
to engage in a mock interview. Usually the first thing we discuss in the
mock interview, after our greeting, is where the individual wishes to work
and what do they think they would like to do. Z. had not formulated his
ideas where he wished to work at that point.

It sure did sound like he should have a career discussion.

So, in the half hour we had for our session, Z. and I engaged in a friendly
and positive discussion clarifying what kind of a place he might wish to
work.

Then, as time was running out he asked if he could have a mock interview.
There was not enough time for this, however, we did agree that he would
be a good candidate for and would gain immense value from a mock
interview conducted during a workshop.

He was uncertain at first, not ever having a mock interview. ‘Z.,’ I told him,
‘it will be just like the conversation we just conducted.’  The better part of it
is that he would have 50 people observing and pointing out what he did
well and what he could improve on. Z. agreed.

So the first comment reveals some of the high points of the ‘mock interview’
discussion…all very much worth learning about.

You can place yourself in the audience of the mock interview… Dan

2 Responses to “Career Discussion before Resume & Mock Interview”

  1. site admin Says:

    The following are the highlights of the ‘mock interview 
    discussion with Z. It became a solid career consulting talk. 

    Then we covered two things- a proposal for how to organize
    his career search and a post interview exercise.

    Taken from Career Partners, the following does a nice job of
    providing an organization for key elements of a job search.
    For, the way a person organizes her (or his) job search is
    one way they learn interviews learn about how they may
    conduct their work…

    One can create nine items or files:
    1. create a target company list with updated listing of key people
    2. have a file of all the information and correspondence about
    active job leads.
    3. create a network contact list; organized according to
    contributions and key items conributed by each.
    4. develop a file with job ads, cover letters, correspondence,
    notes from emails and phone calls and your ‘targeted’ resume
    used for each.
    5. develop a file of recruiters and search firms
    6. direct mail file
    7. news reports about companies in the fields of interest–
    hiring, technology, business growth and lay-offs
    8. develop follow-up plans, sorted by date.
    9. organize weekly plans with project activities; consider including 
    a file of inactives for future reference.

    Z. and I reviewed items on his resume in a way to have him point out
    a ’story’ for each accomplishment.  Each story would focus on being
    the subject matter for a response to a question.  The story would be
    constructed so that Z. demonstrated that he understood the object
    of the question and he could use it to declare his two or three top
    selling points.

    After the interview, we posed some things to consider as
    part of a post interview exercise that he might consider for himself.
    A. What questions or issues were hard for him to deal with?
    B. What questions did he handle well?
    C. Did I make a “closing statement”, saying that he desired the job,
    did he establish a time frame for the decision and identify the next steps?
    D. What question was he not prepared for?
    E. How did he focus his abilities on making a contribution for the
    company?
    F. How did he follow up?  Lettters, emails, phone calls? 

    At the end of the session, Z. remarked that he could not
    believe how much value the session provided for him.

     Dan

  2. site admin Says:

    Now, Z. was the second of three
    volunteer interviewees at the Mock
    Interview Demonstration workshop
    in San Francisco.

    Z. was dressed as if he were coming to an interview, tie and
    pressed shirt. He demonstrated a confident presence as he
    and I introduced each other.

    Z. was introduced as interviewing for MEXXON, a large
    multinational petroleum discovery, refining and chemicals
    company. Z. was interested in an R&D position. Initially,
    he was asked about his background and the knds of roles
    in which he had worked as a graduate student.

    He confidently handled a good amount of the interview
    questions, having crystallized in his mind how to expresss his
    accomplishments briefly, and how to clarify questions when
    he was not clear or he had to think about things.

    He did a very fine job of presenting a strong case for his
    work when he had to do a “board talk” elaborating on a
    response to a question. He followed by have several strong
    questions when asked if there was anything he wished to learn.

    The feedback revealed that the preparation Z. did during
    and after the career discussion helped crystallize what Z.
    knew so that he could strongly make a good case that he
    was the best candidate for the position.

    Now, clearly, this is a brief summary of a complex series of
    interactions. However, it is offered to provide a mental picture
    of a viable path for job interview preparation.

    Dan

    P.S. Z. had to do a good deal of work on his resume, too….

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