Use Big Interview to Practice for Your Big Day

photo of person in a suit straightening neck tie
Published: Friday, April 14, 2017 by Kate M. Spaulding

Part of the amazing portfolio of career development resources available to us at the iSchool is something called Big Interview. San José State University provides it, free of charge, to all Spartans (that’s us, btw), and it’s pretty incredible.

Before today, I had seen the Career Development page about Big Interview, but I hadn’t bothered registering or looking into it. My bad (learn from my mistake!). It takes approximately 2 seconds to register, and you’ll need to use your SJSU email address. When you log in for the first time, a pop-up with three short getting-started videos will appear.

screenshot of Big Interview welcome screen

If you’re comfortable exploring new technology on your own, you can probably skip some or all of them because the site is pretty easy to navigate and understand. If you’d like to revisit them or learn more, you have Help Center access on your dashboard, and there’s a pop-up Support tab on every page (you can see it in the screenshot below).

Big Interview has a huge amount of information, but its best feature? The live interview simulations. Basically, you see a video of a person asking you a question. Then, with your webcam, you record yourself answering. There are a couple of genius elements at work here.

screenshot of Big Interview interview questions matrix

The Catalog: Big Interview has a deck of interviewers and questions for you to practice with. As you can see in the screenshots, you can try various combinations of type and toughness. For instance, you can choose “internship” and “challenging” or “managerial” and “standard.” Questions are also grouped by industry and competency, among others, so you can tailor your preparation. You may want to practice answers you have stumbled on in the past, choose the “career change” interview type, or fine-tune your answers to questions about remaining cool under pressure.

screenshot of another Big Interview matrix

Your Videos: With Big Interview, you can record yourself answering interview questions. Then you can review, save, and share your recordings. There’s a reason dancers rehearse in front of mirrors – you can learn a lot by watching yourself. You can see how your body language and facial expressions come across to an audience (experiment by muting your video so you can watch yourself without sound. Do you like how you portray yourself?). If you’ll be doing a virtual or video interview in Real Life, analyzing your recordings ahead of time becomes even more important.

I’ve just scratched the surface of what Big Interview offers. I hope you’ll give it a try – I’d love to hear if you find it useful!

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