It is our first rounds of mock interviews. We have recruiters and hiring managers come into our conference rooms and take us through a real interview experience. I have to say that this was a really fun experience, although going through tons of interviews is a scary thought at first.

Last week, we learned about the PAR method to interviews. Whenever a question is asked, you respond with a PAR, which is a Problem-Action-Result story that includes a specific situation, with details about how we as individual contributors resolved the issues. Prepared with some stories up our sleeves, we were already more appealing to the interviewer.

Each interview was a quick 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of feedback afterwards. With this opportunity, I was looking for specific feedback about things I needed to work on. My biggest problem was speaking too generally about situations and providing excessive details about the problem. Instead, I was advised to quickly point out the main problem and speak more into the action and result aspects of my PARs (recruiters don’t need to become experts in understanding how the problem developed). Definitely worth the sessions to learn this about myself!

The really cool thing about these interviews is the fact that there have been previous MASSM students who received job offers from the same recruiters who conducted their mock interviews. Imagine having a job waiting for you on the day of graduation – drop the mock cause it was a real interview!

Granted, we spend a lot of spring quarter job hunting and interviewing for other jobs, but the essence of the story is that the program is effective in preparing us to attain meaningful jobs because we become strong candidates for the positions we seek.

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