April 27, 2022

Students Practice Virtual Interviewing with Industry Professionals

By Tiffany Garcia, Assistant Director

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.


The best part of this event was that the industry professional did a great job of putting me at ease; no question felt too silly for me to ask, and I feel much less nervous about networking with other industry professionals now.

Student Participant

As someone who doesn't have much interview experience in the U.S., I really appreciated the opportunity to talk to an industry expert in an environment that promotes open and honest feedback in a non-judgmental way.

Student Participant

Compared to the in-person model, the VIP model doubled the number of industry participants, increasing the number of available appointments. Students also responded well to the redesign. 100% of students said they felt better prepared for the interview process as a result of this program, 93% of students said they felt confident in presenting their professional brand, as a result of participating in the program.  

Be on the lookout for the next time VIP is offered (usually during the Spring semester). In the meantime, check out interviewing resources on Handshake.

Related Articles