In Spring 2022, the NYUSPS Wasserman Center for Career Development partnered with 30 industry professionals across various industries to host over 90 virtual interviews for their Virtual Interview Prep (VIP) Program. Previously known as “Mock Interview Madness” and offered in-person for 8 years, the event was rebranded as a result of COVID-19 to a fully virtual format to provide students the opportunity to practice virtual interviewing skills, informational interviewing skills, and to potentially build relationships with professionals in their industry.
By participating in VIP, students were able to (1) Describe relevant experiences in a way that reflects knowledge of the job and skills needed to succeed within the industry/company; (2) Identify proper verbal & non-verbal communication skills/best practices for an interview; and (3) Demonstrate up-to-date industry knowledge by applying real life examples.
With the COVID-19 pandemic aftereffects still looming, the Center decided to redesign this offering to reflect the changing world of work as many return or enter a workforce in the hybrid/remote environment. A goal for this redesign was to improve the user experience virtually to allow students and industry professionals more autonomy when navigating the interview prep process and creating more appointment allocations to allow more SPS students to have access to this offering.
To improve the user experience, a Virtual Interview Prep Google Site was launched. The site acted as a one-stop shop for all things VIP where students could sign up for appointments, communicate with their chosen interviewer, review interviewer bios (via LinkedIn), and review interview-specific resources from the NYUSPS Wasserman Center. This allowed students to have more ownership of the interview experience as they prepared for their interviews.
Industry participants represented all SPS industries with 90% having subject matter expertise in two or more industries. To support each professional volunteer, each industry professional also received their own VIP calendar where they could manage and communicate with their interviewees directly. This allowed students to have real-world experiences as they took the lead to schedule, research and prep for an actual interview with an industry professional.