This past week, Florida Southern hosted its annual Moc Interview Day at the Career Center.
During this event, students schedule a 30-minute mock interview and get feedback on their interviewing skills. Director of Career Development Xuchitl N. Coso came up with the idea in order to provide students with a way to interview with local prospective employers and learn how to prepare for the future with interview experts.
“My staff and I started the idea of doing Moc Interview Day five years ago because students were coming back from interviewing for internships and full-time jobs and they were concerned about the way they were interviewing,” Coso said.
The first year Moc Interview Day was started, only 40 students showed up to participate. Coso’s staff was also unable to get employers to come help with the interviewing so it was mostly people on campus who helped with the practice interviews.
However, now there are 84 half an hour slots that are usually filled by students. Furthermore, after seeing the potential for this event, employers began to like the concept behind Moc Interview Day.
“We invite a lot of different employers,” Coso said. “We have had Polk County sheriff’s department here, we had the police department, we’ve had advertising agencies, but it depends on who can come. Most of the time we have employers that are willing to come and spend time to help students out.”
“I had a student that signed up for Moc Interview Day three years of college,” Coso said. “He came every semester and signed up. He has a really good job right now and he feels really comfortable about interviewing. You’re coming in with different people and with a different perspective and so you start to create that confidence that you need for when you interview.”
According to an infographic from Come Recommended, LLC (a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies), 33% of employers know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether or not they will hire someone. One of the goals of this event is to help students get more confidence through the practice of an interview conducted by an actual employer.
The employers at this event rated students through basic items such as body language, verbal communication, and appearance in order to provide help to students improve their interviewing skills. These items are subjects which look to show students how to persuade the employer and better their chances for a job.
“The biggest thing my interviewer told me was to work on selling myself, which is useful in the long run because it will help me land a job easier,” FSC senior Dion Spires said. “It’s important to market yourself and tell the employer why you’re right for the job.”
Coso and her staff believe that Moc Interview Day is helping students become more prepared for the process of interviewing. They also want to personally make sure students to become surer of their interviewing skills because of firsthand practice.
“I want students to start getting a sense of confidence and to understand what their weaknesses are so they can fill those gaps,” Coso said. “I would rather that students come in not prepared the first time. But over time as you did it again and then again, by the time you have to go for an interview or an internship you’re feeling more comfortable.”