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Best Practices - Mock Interview Sessions
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  1. Best Practices - Mock Interview Sessions 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM Kemal Niksic, P.E. Pittsburgh Section-Vice President kemal.niksic@hatchmott.com ASCE Pittsburgh Section Spring and Fall, 2012

  2. Sessions held for local University students • Pittsburgh Section Student Chapters • Carnegie Mellon University • Geneva College • University of Pittsburgh • University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown • Point Park University 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  3. Process • Workshops held on-campus at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University • “Do’s and Do not’s of interviewing” was first presented in a 30-45 minute discussion covering • Attire • Etiquette • Professionalism • All Pittsburgh Section students invited to attend. 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  4. Process • Following the presentation, students were paired with mock interviewers. • Mock Interviewers made up of both experienced younger and section members. • More-experienced younger members and those with hiring experience were encouraged to attend. • Students participated in multiple mock interviews based on the number of volunteers. • When Students >> Volunteers, Graduating seniors were given preference. 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  5. Learning experience for interviewers too! Provided questions not to ask! • What you can't ask: What religion do you practice? • What to ask instead: What days are you available to work? • What you can't ask: How much longer do you plan to work before you retire? • What to ask instead: What are your long-term career goals? • What you can't ask: What do you think of interoffice dating? • What to ask instead: Have you ever been disciplined for your behavior at work? 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  6. Goals • Each student was to have the opportunity to interview with a minimum of 2 different “employers”. • Both interviewers and students were able to network with potential future colleagues. • The event closed with an opportunity for the interviewers to provide general comments back to the students. 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  7. Scheduling • Opening speakers – 2 months before the event. • Venue – 2 months before the event. • Coordinated through hosting student chapter. • Solicitations for volunteers – 1 month before the event. • Requested through section email distribution lists. • Students – 3 weeks before the event. • Contacted through their practioner advisors. 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  8. Scheduling • Students and Interviewers paired – 1 week prior to the event. • Student resumes collected – 1 week prior to the event. • Although unintended - new faces appeared in the crowd of interviewers, who anticipating that the event would also provide an opportunity to network with prospective new hires. 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  9. Organization • Organized by an event chair and members of the following committee and groups: • YMF Outreach Committee • YMF Technical Committee • Practioner advisors • Students chapters 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  10. What worked well • Students provided great feedback. • Appreciate the “mock” interview setting • Developed confidence in ability to interview • Received feedback on improving abilities during actual interviews. • On average, 15 section and younger members volunteered. • Volunteers to speak and interview were exceptional. 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  11. What didn’t work well • Pairing students and interviewers difficult at times when trying to consider specific disciplines. • Last minute cancellations or no-shows required overhaul of the proposed schedule. 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  12. Important Administrative Information: • Important to have one event chair (point of contact) that can coordinate both students and volunteers. • Coordination can be challenging. • Event chair should not volunteer as an interviewer in order to help moderate event. 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  13. Important follow-up • Provide a survey to students on how what they felt was beneficial from the event. • Discussions were held with interviewers on ways to more effectively use the time allotted and set maximum time allowances for each interview. • Both students and interviewers felt that the time went by fast! 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  14. Outcome • Students indicated event was highly successful. • Prepared for future interviews • Built self-confidence • Both students looking for entry-level and internship positions found benefits from attending. • The event provided a networking opportunity for section members, younger members, and students. • 3rd Interviewing Workshop to be held September 24, 2013. 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM

  15. Questions? • Questions? • Contact information: Kemal Niksic, P.E., Associate Hatch Mott MacDonald kemal.niksic@hatchmott.com 1600 W Carson St. Pittsburgh PA 15219-1031 T 412.497.2944 2013 ASCE PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS FORUM