University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool is part of the Russell Group of universities – acknowledged as the UK’s leading establishments for excellence in teaching and research. Offering a suite of MBA programmes, the AACSB-Accredited University of Liverpool Management School is in the top 5% of business schools worldwide.

Context

All MBA students work with the MBA Careers Advisor from the very first week to help with each stage of their career plans. Career coaching services range from help establishing career direction, where to position oneself in the job market, to producing advanced-level CVs and applications as well as mock interviews and assessment centre preparation.

Throughout the MBA programme, professional development training is available

through the Navigator Programme, weekly half day skills sessions on topics such as negotiation, conflict management, handling difficult conversations, understanding body language in business etc. Careers Support doesn’t end at graduation and continues for five years afterwards.

Key Findings

  • Staying Ahead of the Curve
  • Confidence Building
  • Self-Reflection

Some of the Highlights

According to Fiona McNamara, MBA Careers Advisor, students enrol in the MBA to accelerate their career to the next level or to make a career change. Keeping abreast of the latest techniques and technologies in job search and selection is very much Fiona’s remit in running the careers and professional development programme.

“Many of our students have been in jobs for a few years so one of my roles is to keep them up to date with the latest interview techniques to place them ahead of their competition. One of the latest developments is video interviews, a format which is rapidly replacing telephone interviews in the early stages of the selection process. So providing video interviewing practice will help our MBA students complete the best video interview possible.” – Fiona McNamara, MBA Careers Advisor

The MBA students were invited to complete a general video interview for the experience of the technology, and then offered one-to-one feedback. Fiona maintains that the Sonru technology made the feedback sessions really easy to run adding that there was a lot of utility in the system.

“In the feedback session, it was great to be able to “dip in and out” to pause, rewind and replay. Usually when you do mock interviews, you’re relying on memory but this is more exact – a live recording of what was said in the moment. The fact you can watch the answer to each question separately also means that it would also be possible to give video interview feedback in a 15 minute drop in/quick query session as you could just focus on a couple of questions the student found most difficult to answer. I also found that watching the student answer one or two questions was enough to see how they were coming across on camera and give feedback on general techniques.”  – Fiona McNamara, MBA Careers Advisor

Fiona maintains Sonru could also be used as a stand alone self assessment tool as you can add ‘How to’ guides and self reflection checklists to the introductory screen. Next year, Fiona plans to encourage the students to share their recordings with their mentors and peers.

Fiona McNamara maintains that enabling a candidate to see how they came across is “great for confidence building. Many of the students are better than they think they are so being able to see themselves coming across well is a real confidence boost.”
It was also useful for highlighting difficulties and facilitated discussion about how candidates could have answered particular questions differently.

One particular student had been invited to complete a Video Interview for an internship with a high profile sports company so getting feedback before the real interview was really useful for him.

“Interviewers look at how you come across as well as the content of what you say. What he was saying was great but he was concentrating so hard that looked very serious and lacking in energy. I suggested he smile and look directly at the camera to appear more confident and enthusiastic. Watching the video with me he could appreciate my comments and used my suggestions. He got the internship so the exercise was certainly very useful.”  – Fiona McNamara, MBA Careers Advisor

 

Conclusion

“The purpose of our role is to enable our students to reflect and improve so being able to log in and review their own recordings allows them to do just that.  Usually when you do mock interviews, you’re relying on memory but this is more exact – a live recording of what was said in the moment.”

Fiona McNamara, MBA Careers Advisor