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Students and Alumni Connect to Develop Professional Interview Skills

WVU Tech alumni visited the University’s Montgomery campus on Thursday, November 5 to conduct mock interviews with a group of students gearing up for their job searches.

During the session, students met with alumni from both the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences and the WVU Tech College of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences to interview for hypothetical positions, go over their resumes and receive advice on how to improve their standing in a real interview setting.

Dr. Kimberlyn Gray, assistant professor of chemical engineering, organized the event. She said that the interviews were the result of a drive among WVU Tech’s faculty and staff to help students develop the soft interview skills they’ll need to put their degrees to work.

“We found that our students have a fantastic grasp on the subject matter they’re studying and a balanced background of coursework and practical experience that makes them stand out on paper,” she said. “We can talk about our capable students all day, but in an interview, it’s up to them to sell that experience and education, so we’re giving students advice on how to approach interviews and a chance to connect with alumni who have been where they are now.”

Wesley Cunningham, a junior chemical engineering major, said he’s already engaged in the interview process and that his participation in the mock interview session was welcome practice.

“They gave me examples of the kinds of questions that might be asked and the topics that come up in face-to-face and telephone interviews – the kinds of skills you need to be confident when you’re talking about yourself and what you do,” he said. “Just being able to sit and talk to someone has been very helpful.”

Beyond mock interview sessions, WVU Tech faculty and staff organize a number of career-focused events throughout the year to help students and alumni plan their next steps, including regular career fairs, graduate program information sessions and on-campus professional development seminars.