One of the Communication Consultants at the UNCG University Speaking Center reflects on her experience volunteering at the Interactive Resource Center (IRC) with their Job Skills Course. Consultants from the Speaking Center observe and film mock interviews, and then offer feedback as well as tips on the presentation of self as it relates to nonverbal communication (posture, face, gestures, etc.).
Candid reflections of a Communication Consultant
First trip all we did was sit there and observed. Evan and Kim were doing the consultation. We just sat there and watch for things we could do the next time. All we were doing was giving them areas of their strengths and things they can improve upon. Other than what we do the structure and consultation, we go in and listen to the interview the people who are over the job skills program just focus on the content and give them advise for that. Then we work on the nonverbal stuff, eye contact, this and that. Then we watch their videos and let them see what they actually did. That is when we say “hey, at this moment you had really good eye contact” or “you could really tell you were attentive”.
One girl came in to get help with her interviewing skills. We helped her a lot, we gave her some tips that she could use. She actually came in the next day and you could see her confidence level just rise. She was so comfortable with herself and her abilities and everything like that. I do not know… she reminded me a lot of myself, it was kind of weird. She was real bubbly, really smiley and held a lot of tension in her shoulders because she was really nervous. I know that I used to do that when I went into interviews, so I was able to give her insight on that. You know when your smiling for a long period of time and you think if I drop my smile now, it is going to be real awkward? If there was something she could not answer she didn’t want to break her smile to look down on her paper to get the answers.
On top of that, all her answers were in paragraph form. I was like hey, when you go into your interview write your questions down then have bullet points for each question/answer. When she came in the next day, she had a new sheet of paper with her questions in the bullet points that I suggested. She was like ahhh this was really helpful when I was doing this I thought of you and I thought ohhh how nice.
There was one lady I worked with in particular, she really needed this job. I took her out into a separate room to talk to her about how her interview went. She was not looking for me to tell her, “you had good eye contact”, she needed encouragement for her to feel confident about herself. Just to boost her self-esteem, this is like going outside the mold and actually helping someone with themselves first, like I have said before once you do that it’s like everything else falls into place.