First-Years Hone Skills with Mock Interviews

January 29, 2010

Students tested their job-interview skills in mock interviews conducted by employers and alumni today at the Law School. The annual mock interview program allows first-year law students the chance to practice for upcoming on-Grounds interviews next week.

Students wait for their mock interviews.
Students wait for their mock interviews.

"It's a great opportunity for first-year students to make a professional connection with someone who is doing what they hope to do, and to also experience what an interview is in a setting where they're not being officially evaluated," said Kevin Donovan, senior assistant dean for career services.

Students meet with the employer for 20 minutes, the same length as a typical interview, then the interviewer offers a critique for 10 minutes and fills out an evaluation form for the student to review. Students are rated on everything from body language to the substance of their answers and follow-up questions.

About 160 students and 14 employers participated, some from as far as New York and representing offices from across the country.

Employers are generally eager to help in the process, said Assistant Dean for Career Services Polly Lawson, who organized the event.

"It gives them an opportunity to start a relationship with our students early," Lawson said."And alumni are always looking for good reasons to come back."

A wide range of employers participated, from small to large firms representing a broad geographic area.

"We try to include public- and private-sector employers so students can interview with whatever employer makes the most sense for them," Lawson said.

Students can bring their evaluation forms to Career Services to do a follow-up mock interview or videotaped mock interview for practice and additional feedback, Donovan added.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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