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With Self-Awareness Comes An Increased Interview IQ

Liberal Arts Students Learn How To Articulate Themselves at Young Age


By Jennifer Lawhead


If ever there were a time to develop self awareness we would wish it to be the college years. Then this journey towards self-awareness and potential self-acceptance would give young adults entering the job force a distinctive advantage. This is what one Value Added Associate, Eric Cole, Founder and Chief Career Officer with Interview IQ did in partnership with Skidmore Executive Career Director, Kim Crabbe. 

The college saw a real need to help liberal arts students verbalize the hard and soft skills they acquired while at Skidmore and to be able to articulate those attributes in a job interview. To this end, Eric developed a workshop to which Kim invited all Skidmore students. The response surprised them. Typically, it is upperclassmen attending career development workshops; however, sophomores were attracted to the workshop as well. Twenty students signed up. 

The idea was simple: use TTI's Talent Insights assessments and Eric's Coaching to prep college students for the real world in a very personalized way, teaching them about themselves and how to talk about themselves as they go on their first job interviews or college admissions interviews. 

"What we know about career develop is it's a journey," Kim said. "The Career Development Center helps to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world, through career counseling, interning, interviewing and learning how to conduct an effective job search."

Before the workshop, the attendees were given a TTI Talent Insights (DISC +12 Driving Forces) assessment. First, Eric conducted an overview of the process. Then, he helped each student understand their assessment results and how could sell themselves in job interviews. He then walked them through commonly asked questions in interviews and challenged them to answer, using their newly acquired self-awareness. Each student was helped to craft language that was personalized to their particular personalities and strengths. Eric stressed the importance of interview preparation. "it's been frustrating for me," Eric said. "I've seen so many uniquely talented, bright candidates get all the way through the application process only to lose a job opportunity because of poor interviewing."


Kim said that the workshop was so successful that they plan to conduct more of the same. The only complaint seemed to be that the attendees would have liked more time!




She complemented Eric's coaching style. "He's very engaging,"" Kim said. "Anytime you offer an opportunity for a person to learn more about themselves and then articulate how those unique characteristics can be applied in the real world, it is valuable. Eric showed them how to use what they learned in the interview process."


After the workshop, three students in particular reached out to Kim, saying how eye opening the experience was for them and how they see themselves having a competitive edge as they enter the job market.


For a liberal school, this workshop could help graduates gain the job they've worked so hard for an dreamt about, all with a little coaching and self-awareness.  Eric continued working individual with several students to refine their career searches and interview skills. One recently landed a position stating upon his graduation!

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