Last week, I took part in mock interviews over Zoom for individuals participating in Triangle’s Pre-Employment Transition Services(Pre-ETS) program. Even in ideal circumstances, interviewing for a job can be a nerve-wracking experience, so many people could benefit from practice. With COVID-19 making virtual interviews a reality for most people on the job market right now, video conferencing etiquette is becoming more important, and new barriers can arise for individuals with disabilities.
Triangle’s Pre-ETS programming has continued to prepare individuals for jobs despite the current pandemic. The reality is that the state’s economy is beginning to re-open, companies are continuing to hire, and training is still a necessity. As a result, Triangle’s Workforce Development department has begun to offer mock interviews over Zoom. It is very valuable for program participants to have the opportunity to practice interviewing with as many different people as possible, in order to simulate a real job interview with someone they do not know. When staff members from the Workforce Development department reached out to Triangle staff members from other departments for help in conducting mock interviews, I was happy to volunteer and get a glimpse into what our individuals are doing on a regular basis.
I chatted with four different individuals who are in various stages in their careers – two high school students in the Randolph area, and two people who are re-entering the workforce after taking time away from it. Each interview lasted 15 minutes, and I had a list of questions that a Workforce Development staff member prepared and sent to me in advance. I was impressed that everyone showed up on time, dressed to impress in professional clothing. I got to know each person that I talked to by asking a variety of different questions. It was a great way to see firsthand how our Workforce Development staff members are continuing to work hard preparing individuals for job hunting, despite the precautions in place!