Business administration and health care management majors sharpened their professional skills by participating in a mock speed interview event on campus Tuesday, Oct. 18. Prizes were awarded to the three highest-performing students.

Inspired by speed dating’s methodology, speed interviewing involves a rapid question-and-answer session between recruiters and job seekers. Professor of Business Administration Beth Crockford’s senior seminar students had 90 seconds to answer one interview question before moving on to a different interviewer.

Community members—including employees of New London Hospital and Lake Sunapee Bank—interviewed the seniors. Students in the sophomore and junior seminar courses observed the process, including Morgan Forrest '18, a business administration major from Brewer, Maine.

“It was an educational experience for those of us watching,” said Forrest. “The fast pace was a practical simulation of profession life, but the event also allowed students room to enhance their skills.”

The question posed to the students was, “What one thing in your life has made you feel most successful? Why did it make you feel that way?”

Interviewers rated the students on the quality and delivery of their response as well as their poise.

Students and interviewers filled Wheeler Hall on Oct. 18 to participate in the first-ever mock speed interview at Colby-Sawyer. Interviewers included representatives from New London Hospital, Lake Sunapee Bank and Stiles Associates, LLC.

Business administration major Anh Le '17 of Hanoi, Vietnam, received the highest score. In second place was business administration major Rachel Quaye '17 of Westminster, Mass., followed by health care management major Lauryn Kmon '17 of Litchfield, N.H.

Quaye enjoyed the high-stakes atmosphere of being interviewed by professionals. “Though many found this event frightening, the pressure helped set us up to succeed,” she said.

Though this is the first time the department hosted a mock speed interview, it consistently places a strong emphasis on professional preparation. The curriculum requires students to learn interviewing skills, develop elevator speeches and practice proper etiquette.

As a result of the department’s focus on professionalism, 94 percent of responding business administration majors and 100 percent of responding health care management majors from the Class of 2015 reported employment six months after graduation.

The speed interview was made possible by a generous gift of $3,500 from Enterprise Holdings. Kimberly Smith, talent acquisition manager at Enterprise, participated by interviewing students. A friend of the college, Smith sits on Colby-Sawyer’s Board of Advisers for ENACTUS and the Business Advisory Board.

The gift will also be used to fund a business meal for students to practice dining etiquette in the spring.