Mock interviews let students get ahead

Oscar Chicas

This past week, Career Services hosted its annual Mock Interview days. Interested students called and set up interviews with representatives from real companies. Dressed in at least shirt and tie, and in most cases a full suit or dress, students participated in the rare opportunity to be interviewed and receive instant feedback about all aspects of their presentation: Resume, clothing, communication skills and more.Tuesday Career Services welcomed representatives from Deloitte & Touche, a local financial services firm. Deloitte is on the vanguard of a growing trend of companies to use their actual financial analysts, accountants and auditors to conduct interviews, rather than a human resources department.This unique trend benefited students beyond the interview, allowing them to network with potential employers and co-workers.Patrick Phillips, who works with the International Tax Divison of Deloitte, said: “Having us actually do the interview can have a real benefit, especially to a graduating student. While experience and skills are obviously important, it may ultimately come down to whether or not I’d like to work with you, or not.”Even though Deloitte is a financial services company, Phillips was open to the idea that anyone with the right skill set can work there, whether or not they majored in business as an undergraduate. Phillips himself majored in government, went to law school after graduation, and is now on his third career with Deloitte.Radhika Khandelwhal is Phillips’ colleague in another division of the company. While she agreed that your major shouldn’t limit your career choice, “Nonetheless your chosen field of study does show what kind of focus you’d bring to the company.”Both were also adamant about companies self-training their employees. “A significant aspect now is an employee’s ability and willingness to learn new things,” Phillips said. It is quite common to see companies sending their employees, who may have accounting degrees, through their own training programs to teach them how to do accounting for that particular company.Discussions like this one were held throughout the day, as half-hour interview sessions allowed each student to network with the employees and learn about what is most important as they move out into the real world.”It was encouraging. I actually have a real interview with Deloitte next week, and this was a perfect opportunity for practice,” said Amy Valiante, a senior. “We talked about the skills I would need, both for the interview and the job, the company, and they also gave me some feedback about my resume.”For information about the next mock interview days and more from Career Services, visit