Mock interviews prepare students for the next step

Photo is of Mu Chi, who is now an employee at Beaningful.

Photo is of Mu Chi, who is now an employee at Beaningful

Mock interviews are a valued part of the Adult Education program at Neighborhood House. Within the program, the English Language Civics classes (EL/Civics) teach students skills that are geared towards community engagement, an understanding of Minnesota culture and history, U.S. citizenship, and job attainment. Ingrained in the curriculum, the EL/Civics classes offer a chance for students to take part in practice interviews with staff members in order to better prepare them for real-life job interviews with prospective employers.

The mock interviews are designed to wrap up the course for students that are in EL/Civics classes. The interviews are structured in a way to familiarize students with greetings, appropriate body language and eye contact, proper attire, and common questions that will be asked. The students are given a week to prepare and practice for the mock interviews which are then conducted by Neighborhood House staff members that students are not fully acquainted with. This is done in an effort for the students to engage in English with someone they don’t know to teach them what the interview process is like as future job applicants.

Cara Berger, an adult education instructor at Neighborhood House, runs these mock interviews twice a year and says the interviews are extremely useful to students who have had limited experience interviewing for a job due to the feedback they receive:

“Even if people know, in theory, the common interview questions and practice them, you don’t really have the chance to practice that too often, especially native English speakers. So getting the chance to practice these questions with a sympathetic listener, who can give you feedback and maybe give you ideas or ask you follow up questions to help you answer the questions better for next time, is really valuable.”