If You Could Be Any Part of a Pizza, Which Part Would You Be, and Why?

Created by Mikki Hornstein, 2012-2013 Career Advising Fellow

I’d be the dough, prior to baking, because I’m flexible (that dough has to stretch out a lot) and I like to support everyone one else (like the dough supports the sauce, cheese, and any toppings). Pizza is definitely on my list of favorite foods. Dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese – what’s not to like? Sadly, this post isn’t really about pizza. It is, however, about something almost as great: mock interviews!

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What do mock interviews and pizza have in common?

Last week, and the week before, I joined Pam and Rhonda as a panelist interviewer for Dr. Tony Weaver’s Sport and Event Management Senior Seminar. We spent each class period interviewing students based on a job description, resume, and cover letter that they had provided to Dr. Weaver. I had so much fun!

We were provided with each student’s job application materials prior to the mock interviews. I researched each company that the students were interested in and crafted some personalized mock interview questions. During the two classes, each student came in, one at a time, and spent about 15 minutes interviewing and getting feedback. Pam, Rhonda, and I took turns questioning each student, while Dr. Weaver kept time and collected observations. We asked some common interview questions: “tell me about yourself, what strengths would you bring to this position, give us an example of a time that you failed,” and we also asked some questions specific to the job description. For example, a student was interested in working with a certain music production company and I asked the student, “who is your favorite artist at our record label?” These questions were the best because I don’t think the students expected to have such specific questions asked of them that were related to the job postings that they had provided to Dr. Weaver. Most of the students were thrown off by the specific questions.It was a great learning opportunity and we were given the chance to remind them about the importance preparing for company-specific questions through researching the organization beforehand. We wrapped up the interviews with an extraordinary question, similar to the one that titles this blog entry.  At the end, all four of us provided the students with information on what they did well and what they needed to improve.

I really enjoyed the process of hearing the students use stories from different experiences that they have had in order to answer our questions. It was also incredibly fulfilling to provide feedback and see the students understand the reasoning behind each comment. Some of the more common problems were sentence fillers: “um, uh, like, you know” and not giving specific examples when we asked for them in the question. It was clear, though, that they were dedicated to working on these things.

Overall, I learned that I really like being involved in mock interviews, and I was reminded of just how impressive Elon students can be.

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About mjhornstein

Career Services Fellow at Elon University

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