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PIP, PIP hooray for the Practice Interview Program

Students get the chance to practice their interview skills and get feedback on their job readiness.

Brianna Skildum, Reporter

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The Practice Interview Program (PIP), is a 14 year old program at Hamline, that helps students learn about themselves to become more comfortable entering the workforce. The Fall 2017 practice interviews were  held in Anderson 111/112 the entire week of Nov. 6; during that time 230 students  went in and out, taking practice interviews and speaking with their interviewers about being prepared for starting their career.

“What I get out of PPI is a real life example of what an actual interview would be like,” sophomore Devin Rodgers said.

The Hamline website described the steps of the process, first being that the faculty decided which classes would benefit from students learning how to be interviewed. They then required those students to register; signing up for a one-hour slot with an interviewer, as well as choosing a job, internship or graduate school program description for which they would like to interview.

Aside from the program being for interview practice, it is also meant for the student to have someone to coach them on how to be a professional, while also being themselves. When a student goes to take an interview with one of the volunteers, they are faced with the chance to get real feedback from an interviewer on how they think the student would fare out there in the real world, as they are right then. The student gets advice on how to get better at what they are good at, and how to strengthen their weaknesses to support what they are naturally adept at.


“[It’s a ] chance for students to do a mock interview with someone from outside Hamline,” Sarah Hurliman, the Programming Coordinator at the Career and Development Center, said. “They also get feedback from the interviewer, both about their interview performance and about their resumes.”

Interviews that they take have targeted questions, to which interviewers are looking for direct answers – this is because students are matched with interviewers who are working in fields that the students are looking at going into. Many – but not all – of the participating classes are senior seminars, presumably to give the seniors a chance to get ready for their upcoming job-hunt after graduation. A total of 13 classes in the program came from various academic realms, from sciences, to arts, to writing courses.

“My hope would be, in the future, that we could grow it so it would be open for students who want experience, even if they’re not required. It’s just a capacity issue right now,” Hurliman said.

Alongside that goal is the need to expand the volunteer base, on the interviewer side of things. Hamline has its own network that is working on expanding; as Hamline gets bigger, so will the program. The more interest there is in the program, the further it will be able to go. Soon, all students will have access to practice interviews, and will be able to get tangible feedback that they can really use and work with.

Rodgers stated that he could have used more direction with ending the interview and thanking the interviewer, but that the (fake) reality of the interview was a pleasant surprise. The evaluation of his performance, after the interview was done, was helpful to Rodgers.

“[The interview] showed me any flaws that I may have committed and all of the strengths that I displayed. Overall, the PIP was extremely helpful and I am very happy that I was a part of it,” Rodgers said.

Hurliman, and the Hamline website, both mentioned that based on evaluations from the students, there seems to be a general feeling of positivity towards the program.

“We have historically done pre-interview surveys and post-interview surveys,” Hurliman said. “We have quantitative data that students are feeling more confident after; that they feel like they’re growing in their interview skills.”

Rodgers shared that because of the interviews he does feel more skilled in his abilities of interviewing.

“ I will most definitely be using these skills to better my interview abilities and handle future job opportunities I have due to knowing exactly what people are looking for,” Rodgers said.

For more information about the Practice Interview Program, visit  

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PIP, PIP hooray for the Practice Interview Program