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The Daily Wildcat

Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Virtual training aids interviewees

    Students now have the option of holding a mock job interview in the luxury of their own home on their computer.

    UA Career Services introduced a new method of interview preparation where students can practice, and see what to expect, through a new technique – an online virtual interviewing system, where the only interaction lies between the student and a computer-designed character.

    “”It’s an incredibly powerful and effective way to practice your interviews,”” said Laura Teso, senior career coordinator of Career Services. “”Plus, it is convenient. Students can use a webcam, or even any recording mechanism.””

    The program, “”Interview Prep””, allows students to design their own online mock interview.

    Students choose the number of questions asked, as well as the types of questions depending on their career interest. Interview options range from a first-time interview to a panel interview.

    There are about ten different interview options to choose from, Teso said.

    After clicking “”start””, the interviewer comes onto the screen and the student is given three seconds to begin their response to the first question. If students feel like they completely messed up, a “”start over”” option is available.

    “”You can choose the person interviewing you – that’s just cool,”” Teso said. “”You can have the computer randomly select one for you, or you can find one that you feel might be a challenge. Each interview has a different personality, some are actually very intimidating. Others seem a little more laid back, but we recommend students to try them all.””

    To help make students feel like they are in an actual interview, the characters are designed to look like real people, Teso said.

    “”It’s kind of scary at first,”” said Allie Griffith, an accounting senior who tried the online interview. “”There was no emotion behind the face that was interviewing me and that was awkward, but it definitely helped me to prepare for future interviews.””

    If students are unsure of what the question is asking, they are given a “”coach”” option where a digital man appears on-screen to help them through that question.

    He even provides you with an example for an appropriate response, Teso said.

    The interviewing process can range from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on what the student wants.

    “”Just like in an actual interview, you can’t run off after the third question,”” Teso said. “”In order to save your interview, you must finish the entire thing. Once you’re done, you can even send it to someone else, so they can provide you with feedback. Students can even send their interviews to counselors to be reviewed.””

    Susan Miller, marketing and special events coordinator for Career Services, said they recommend using the online resource because it is offered at the student’s convenience .

    “”We also offer scheduled mock interviews, but only once or twice a semester,”” Miller said. “”But to give you additional training and experience, we strongly recommend ‘Interview Prep’.””

    “”Students are becoming more likely to use this tool,”” said Joseph Phelps, an accounting senior. “”Webcams are pretty popular and easy to use. They ask you questions that you will actually hear in an interview, so it’s a great way to get ahead.””

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