When your Bowdoin education has taken you as far as it can go in the job search, self-hypnosis and meditation might just be the key to overcoming nerves and succeeding in the critical job interview.
In a unique partnership, the Career Planning Center (CPC) and the Counseling Service will hold a workshop next week that will counsel students both in traditional strategies and mind-body techniques to improve interview performance.
The workshop is the result of a collaboration between Director of the Counseling Service Bernie Hershberger and Leslie Cummings of the CPC. Cummings, who is serving as a CPC intern while pursuing her master's degree in counseling, worked in human resources at L.L. Bean for 16 years.
Her experience interviewing job seekers at L.L. Bean has made her well aware of the importance of the interview, as well as its possible pitfalls.
"There were many times I sat across from a person that I knew really wanted the position, and they had the qualifications we were looking for, but they weren't able to communicate their skills and desire," she told the Orient.
She said that the interview usually makes up about one-third of the employer's decision.
"Many companies assign a percentage to the interview performance as they weigh candidates against each other. While each organization approaches this differently, I would say on average it accounts for around 30 to 40 percent of your 'score,'" Cummings said.
Hershberger said the main goal of the session was to explore ways to reduce interviewee anxiety.
"This workshop will include pragmatic ideas for doing one's best with interviews, as well as some mind-body strategies such as relaxation, self-hypnosis, brief meditations, and visualizations," he said.
The organizers are also planning an interview role-play featuring Randy Nichols and Mike Brown of the security department. The demonstration will provide examples of both good and bad interviews.
The event will take place on Monday at 7 p.m. in Moulton Union. Students are encouraged to sign up for the workshop on the CPC web site.