In mid-November, Corban University held its ninth annual Mock Interviews Day, a time where business professionals and leaders from the community volunteer to conduct extensive mock interviews for over 80 Corban students from the Hoff School of Business. It’s a unique opportunity for Corban students to practice their interviewing skills in a real-world environment while receiving constructive criticism to help with their future career searches.
For many students, like Freshman business major, Laela Wood, the process came with plenty of nerves. “I’ve been in interviews for jobs before and they’ve been about twenty minutes max,” she said. “This one is a full 45 minutes, so it’s the real deal. I’m excited to interact with real professionals and see how I do with the stakes being high.”
With this being the ninth year the event has been held, many of the interviewers saw their experience come full circle, having gone through the same mock interviews themselves back when they were Corban students. “I loved interacting with the students because I was one,” said Amy Jordan, a Tax Manager at local firm, Doty, Pruett, Wilson. “I remember what that was like. I wish so often that I had the confidence that I do now when I was back in college, so being able to give back and interview these students, it allows them to get those first awkward interview jitters out in front of a party that wants to help them improve.”
Interviewer Rachel Poot could immediately identify with this year’s crop of interviewees, having been an interviewer herself just last year. Now an Account Manager at Skyline Video Productions, she attributes much of her recent career success to events like Corban’s Mock Interview Day. “It’s definitely a big shift from interviewee to interviewer,” she said, “but it’s cool to watch these students learn through the process and really develop their skills and become better at interviewing so that they can really get the jobs that they want.”
After each mock interview session, students were given dedicated time to gather feedback from industry professionals and ask career-related questions. The experiences are often future shaping. “It was more challenging than I thought, which is great, because it means I learned something,” said Senior business major, Christopher Nobles. “I’m excited to take my notes away from this and to get better. One of the interviewers encouraged me to be very real in an interview and to be specific about who I am as an individual, to avoid cliches and be passionately myself.”
After finishing her own interview, Freshman Laela Wood was surprised to find her nerves settled, and her feedback encouraging. “My interviewer said that I came across as confident, which was not how I had felt going into it,” she said. “Now that I know that if I can just take a deep breath, and almost convince myself that I’m confident, realizing that I’m capable of coming off as confident, now I feel like I can do that and keep doing it for future job interviews.”
Over the years, as the event has grown, it has become a favorite of Corban students and local business professionals alike. “This event is very special to me, and it seems like it keeps growing every year, and I love that,” said local professional, David Martinmaas. “I look forward to this every single year. I look forward to coming back to Corban University because it’s like home. I’m really impressed with the maturity of the students the come through here, and how they take this seriously.”
After the interviews had concluded, a stream of future professionals merged with current business leaders, joining together for a luncheon in the Psalm Center. With the ninth iteration of the event in the books, interviewer and speaker, Jonathan Booth summed up the enduring sentiments being traded around the room, each seasoned with its own unique piece of career advice. “It’s a delight to be here,” he said. “I cannot tell you how well Corban pays us. No money changes hands, but I can honestly tell you that all of us who are interviewing go away so much richer. You students may see yourselves as only being involved in a mock interview, but I honestly see a lot more. We get to hand on the baton, and what we do is try and help you prepare to be the light of the world.”