Interview simulation technology does the job

July 26, 2012
Interview simulation technology does the job
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( -- In a world-first, students who are anxious about doing job interviews can calm their nerves by doing mock interviews using innovative technology in a simulated corporate office at The Australian National University.

ANU Careers Centre is using new from the US that allows individuals to record a practice interview, review their own performance, comment on it and then send it to others via a web link to request feedback. There are more than 2000 interview questions on the database, from which students can choose up to 10.

While other universities have embraced interview simulation products, ANU is the first university in the world to combine this technology with a purpose-built functional space that simulates a corporate office.

ANU Careers Centre careers consultant David Rockawin said students preparing for tend to be fearful of not having control of the situation, of not achieving the desired result and of being evaluated by others. It is also common that they experience communication apprehension.

“This tool gives students a positive experience in a supportive and authentic environment. It also gives them confidence. A lot of students have said they think they know how they will answer a question, but until they actually experience doing it, it’s entirely different,” he said.

“Career counsellors educate students about job interviews, but students also need to familiarise themselves with the process by experiencing it. This is a tool where the focus is on how you communicate in an interview, rather than on giving a correct or memorised answer. The software allows students to see and hear how they interact in an interview, just as an employer would.

“It’s particularly helpful for a lot of our students from non-English speaking backgrounds. Where English is not their primary language, it gives them confidence in conversing in English under interview conditions.”

While the program is initially being used at the ANU Careers Centre, Mr Rockawin said the centre would soon move to a more open model using the web as a platform for delivery.

“This would allow students and alumni to use the program during teaching breaks or after graduation, something that would be particularly useful for our interstate and international students,” he said.

The software will be used primarily as an educative tool and could even be introduced as part of the curriculum of courses, Mr Rockawin said. He added that it could also be used as part of the overall employment process.

“Employers, particularly international ones, could conduct live interviews with students. By doing this, the number of organisations that form a closer working relationship with the Careers Centre and, ultimately, the University, is likely to increase,” he said.

“Student feedback so far has been great, and this innovative product is poised to give ANU the edge in the competitive graduate labour market.”

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