How to pass a successful interview?

Nazarbayev University students had the opportunity to practice how to give a good interview when applying for a job. Simulated interviews were held on campus between April 1 and 5, where students practiced interviewing with potential employers and were then given personal feedback and recommendations on how they did and ways they might improve.

The Career and Advising Center of NU organizes this type of event twice a year. Its purpose is to prepare graduating students for their upcoming interviews, and how to give a successful interview. “These interviews help students prepare for future job interviews after graduation. Our Center has been organizing them since 2016, inviting large Kazakhstani and international companies to conduct interviews, which gladly respond to the invitation and meet with our students in the framework of improvised “interviews”. So, this time representatives of 14 companies took part in simulation interviews with students,” said Azel Shaikhina, Manager of the Career and Advising Center.

The simulation interview lasts about twenty minutes and then is followed by a short period where students are given subsequent feedback for educational purposes. Feedback at the end of the interview is from the potential employer who conducted the interview. They assess not only how the students present themselves and their manners, but also give specific feedback on the preparation of resumes, etc.

Each employer conducts up to nine interviews with students. In order to take part in the simulated interviews, students must pre-register for the event on the career platform of the CAC CareerNet center. “A simulation interview gives a unique chance to improve interviewing skills, helps to understand what skills you need to pay the most attention to,” said Islam Mukhammedrakhym, a student of the School of Engineering, “the opportunity to get feedback from a potential employer is also very important. For example, I improved my interviewing skills and got some good tips to improve my resume.”

Daniyar Zholdasbayev, a student of the School of Science and Technology believes that only having theoretical knowledge in one’s subject is not enough to guarantee that one will get a future job. In addition, students need practice, skills, and experience in how to present themselves to employers, and to be of interest to companies. So, after participating in the mock interview he “listened to the criticism and tried to fix some of the things that he was told were not good to do during an interview.”
In general, for a large number of students interviewing for employment is the most stressful part of the process, so having some experience in this regard, will make it easier for future students when meeting with a real employer. Also, the experience of participation in the interview is useful in pointing out any places students need to improve their knowledge or classes they should still take.

In addition to NU students, potential employers are very interested in and benefit from participating in simulation interviews. The Marketing Manager of the company KazDream Technologies Gulim Murtoa notes that their company participates in such events for two reasons – primarily in regard to recruitment for open positions and keeping an eye out for talented students. “We believe that at such events we may find people to recruit for upcoming vacancies. And, also, we believe that even if we don’t have any suitable vacancy, we may find a great mind to become part of our team. We have several NU students and alumni that are a valuable asset to our company. Yes, we are planning to participate in such an event next year. The company is expanding, thus, we are always looking for great minds to join us” she said.

Adilyam Baratova from the company ANCOR notes that “according to global statistics, about 40% of graduates do not have a clear career plan, the guys have also no experience of interviewing. Our simulation interviews help the novice to identify their strengths and weaknesses and ‘rehearse’ the upcoming interview with the employer.” She also expressed the hope that the simulation interviews will allow young professionals to feel more confident, to determine the vector of development and build a successful career. Since both the University and employers are equally interested in forming a pool of competent and experienced professionals in the country, we expect that this event will continue to be very useful and popular in the future.