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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Feb. 5, 2015) -- The California Baptist University Career Center offers students the opportunity to prepare for the job search by offering mock interviews conducted by experienced professionals.

"It is important. You come to school for four years, and an interview is usually 45 minutes to an hour," said Mike Bishop, senior director at the Career Center. He said the goal of the Career Center is to focus on making those 45 to 60 minutes really count.

"You're never going to stop interviewing, so the fact that we have the resource to have as many as we want is totally invaluable," said Taylor Engbrecht, a senior marketing student.

As senior marketing student Trent Ward put it, "The most beneficial part of the process was being able to experience the real-life nerves and pressures of a live interview."

Participants are expected to dress professionally and bring a copy of their resume to the interview. The participant informs the interviewer of the type of job they are preparing for, then the interviewer acts as if he or she is interviewing the participant for that job.

"I heard it was intense, so I prepared," Engbrecht said.

The interview lasts about 25 minutes followed by another 25 minutes of critique. The interviewer gives tips on how to improve the participant's performance. Assistance in building a resume is also available.

 "Overall the feedback was an incredible tool, and it was a great eye-opener for what interviewing will be like in the professional world," Engbrecht said.

 "It is definitely an invaluable experience for anyone bold enough to take on the challenge," Ward said.

"This is an opportunity to come talk to those with life experience and who want to help students with practical experience," Bishop said.

The Career Center conducted about 160 mock interviews, mostly with seniors, during the fall semester. Bishop estimated that the Career Center will complete about 315 interviews over the course of the academic year. An interview can be scheduled by contacting the Career Center.

 "After every interview our students assess the process, and we have not heard any negative feedback yet," Bishop said. "The students are voicing that this is helpful, and we will continue to get their feedback so that we can continue to raise the bar."

 Story and photo by Matthew Biernat