The Medina County Career Center’s (MCCC) Adult Education department took a proactive approach in preparing students for real-world employment through mock interview activities. Advisory committee members across various industries, including HVAC, Dental Assisting, and Medical Assisting, alongside dedicated Adult Education instructors, and engaged community members contributed significantly.

The mock interviews are designed to give students a real-world experience expected in their chosen fields. To strengthen this experience, MCCC collaborated with Ohio Means Jobs, Medina County Economic Development, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates, and others to enhance the employability skills of the students. This partnership included training in job search skills, resume writing, and interviewing techniques.

Adriana Strazzanti, the facilitator of the program, outlined the process: “We prepared students by discussing proper dress, interview etiquette, and the soft skills crucial for the workplace. We provided a list of common interview questions to both students and interviewers ahead of time and ensured interviewers posed industry-specific questions relevant to actual job scenarios.” Students benefited from a structured and personalized schedule which allowed them to meet with various industry professionals. “Each student knew who they were meeting, at what time, and in which location. This organization helped mimic the professional environments they aspire to enter.”

This pathway to employment highlighted the effectiveness of mock interviews in preparing students for careers in their specific fields. Strazzanti stated, “Students made connections in their fields, and some even secured job offers before completing their programs. Many of our students have never worked in a professional setting. We had to ensure our training was accessible and comprehensible for everyone, which sometimes meant breaking down concepts like ‘business casual’ into terms they could understand.”

When asked for advice for students gearing up for real-life interviews, Strazzanti emphasized preparation: “Know the company, review your application materials, and practice your responses. It’s crucial to articulate why you are the best candidate for the position because if you don’t, someone else will.”

The mock interview program at MCCC exemplifies how targeted, practical training can significantly impact learners, equipping them with the skills necessary to excel in their careers and achieve professional success.