Mock Interviews in Class Prepare Students for Internships and Jobs

Dec 23, 2022

Khalil Tompkins sat in the chair, slightly nervous. He waited for the job interviewer to ask a question. 

“I didn’t know what to expect so I was a bit nervous,” said Tompkins. “But it was just like having a conversation, and I made great connections.”

Tompkins, a senior in communications, wasn’t interviewing for a job. Instead, the mock interview is part of William Peace University’s professional development courses. During their third year, students take a class called PDS 300, in which they create a resume, search for internships, and practice mock interviews. 

“Our students at WPU have incredible skills to bring to the workforce, and our goal is to support their journey by helping them highlight their professional attributes in a tangible and meaningful way,” said Megan Hoffner, the adjunct professor who teaches PDS 300. 

PDS 300 is just one of three years of professional development at WPU. The University calls it “immersive learning,” meaning learning by doing, through experience, or in a hands-on way. 

PDS 300 also includes help from Triangle businesses. Professionals from a variety of Raleigh corporations, such as N.C. Dept of Transportation, Goldman Sachs, Duke Health, and BioMerieux visit to review students’ resumes and assist with the interviews. The representatives offered students feedback on their professional demeanor and suggestions for their desired fields. 

This work helps prepare students for the internship they’ll complete during their third or fourth year, Hoffner said. During their semester internship with a local business, students take another class that meets monthly. The course is a time for students to talk about what they are doing and learning in a professional environment. 

“Mock interviewing gives our students practical experience that they can use for a lifetime,” said Hoffner. “The skills learned in PDS and during mock interviews provide tools for best presenting the talents they already possess.” 

Tompkins interned as a teaching assistant for Wake County Public School Systems. He used his connections he made at the mock interview to obtain an internship at a local high school. 

“PDS 300 helped prepare me for looking for an internship,” said Tompkins. “I met people who worked within the public school system, and they inspired me to apply.” 

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