Mock job interviews prepare VC process technology students

Victoria College Process Technology Program student Peyton Levien answers questions from representatives of Dow Chemical, Formosa Plastics, INVISTA and Austin Water during a mock job interview on April 16.

Aaron Points never had to interview for a job before. So the soon-to-be graduate of Victoria College’s Process Technology Program wasn’t going to miss a chance to see what the experience is like.

Dillon Hammond from Dow Chemical, Bobby Garner of INVISTA, Shawn Wehmeyer and Lance Harlan of Formosa Plastics and Beth Baker of Austin Water recently devoted six hours to conduct mock interviews with 14 students in VC’s Process Technology Program. The exercise helped prepare students for the tough questions they will have to answer when applying for a job.

“I have worked for a few companies, and they really needed help, so they hired me. There was no real interview process,” said Points, who will graduate from the program with an Associate of Applied Science this spring. “So this was a new experience for me.”

Fred Chastain, VC’s Process Technology curriculum coordinator, said the program began the mock interviews five years ago, and some students have impressed the interviewers so much that they received a follow-up interview.

“Process technician jobs are highly sought after and super competitive with outstanding pay and benefits,” Chastain said. “Our faculty focus on preparing them students for success, and this is one of the many ways that we do so. This really helps our students get interview experience and allows us to get feedback from our industry partners on the strengths and weaknesses of our program. Our industry partners get a first look at our graduating students, and they give us feedback to help us improve the relevance of our program’s curriculum.”

Brian McMullen, who will graduate from the program in the fall, was surprised by how many interviewers were in the room.

“I also wasn’t expecting them to ask me to ask them questions,” McMullen said. “They got me on that one.”

Points said he approached the interview like his career depended on it.

“I went into it like it was a real interview,” Points said. “You have to sell yourself. You have to show what you know and, hopefully, I did that.”

Victoria College’s Process Technology Program offers a one-year certificate and a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in process technology. The program prepares students for a career as a process technician or operator.

For more information on VC’s industrial trades programs, call (361) 573-3291.