When doing the practice interviews with my partner, I learned several skills. Skills that I had never even considered would come up in an interview. I think the skill that I was able to practice the most, was how to answer questions that I was not totally prepared for. I very much enjoyed the system of these interviews, where we would each observe an interviewer to give them feedback. Additionally, practicing this in a situation where I was not under a lot of pressure to do perfectly, was extremely helpful, because although I was still trying my best to pretend like it was the real thing, it gave me room to make mistakes. Those mistakes helped me to learn about what I needed to work on/improve, and which elements I was already good at.
I think there are several things that I need to work on in order to have a successful interview when I do the real one. One of the things that I got many comments on was that I say “um” and “uh” a lot. I noticed that I did this as I was speaking to my partner, so I tried to correct it a little bit in the moment, however I will still need to practice more on this. The other big thing that I think I need to work on is sounding more confident in myself. I even gave this piece of advice to the person I was observing, because I think that its a skill we could all improve on. For me the goal is to not sound like I’m bragging, but also to still highlight my strengths to the person interviewing me. Most of the time when I was speaking, I had good information, but I did not sound like I believed in myself. In my opinion, if I was the interviewer, I would be more likely to hire someone who sounded like they believed in themselves and what they were saying.
Despite having to improve in a few topic areas, I have some things that I think I did very well, and my feedback agrees. That is why I like the feedback and partner system, because if I know what I am doing well on, then I’ll know what I need to continue doing in order to sound proper and professional. I really enjoyed how there was an equal amount of constructive criticism as there was positive feedback, this way nobody’s feelings were hurt, and we still got the information we needed.