Mock Interviews - humorously building professional competency

My experience teaching at An-Najah National University has made me realize that as Americans we often take for granted the small things that contribute to our greater successes.  One of these things is a Career Development Center.  Most, if not all, universities in Palestine are missing a center for Career Development.  This, coupled with the lack of available opportunities for students, results in a young generation without the soft skills needed for success in employment.

It is for this reason that the Professional Competency course at An-Najah is very important to these students’ futures.  After every class I teach, there are at least seven students who stay after class just to speak English with me or to ask questions about employment.  Their motivation is unmatched.  Today was a rewarding class in which we had mock employment interviews.  This exercise was beneficial because it allowed students the opportunity to get out of their comfort zones and to speak publicly in front of a class.

One student pretended to be the employer and the other the employee.  The issues we worked on included building confidence and learning how to highlight appropriate experience.  My biggest takeaway was that students don’t have the opportunity to participate in internships, temporary jobs or training and so are perplexed when answering such questions related to their experience.  Together we learned how to still highlight academic credentials in order to highlight students’ qualification.  Finally, we discussed rude behavior during an interview or meeting.  The room erupted with laughter when I posed as the interviewee and responded to a text message during an interview.


Asma is an intern at TYO-Nablus teaching Professional Competency at An-Najah University and Oral History to students in Khallet al-Amood.