Dave's Story: Applying the Principles

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After working for years in trade-type jobs, Dave decided it was time to go back to school. This wasn’t an easy decision. He was already making a good income to support his family, and the economy was just beginning to go into a recession. Still, Dave felt motivated to give up his pool maintenance job to pursue a professional career in pharmacy.

“It was tough to give up a job like that and go back to school in the hopes that I would be able to get into a professional career,” said Dave. “I just went on faith and knew it was the right thing to do.”

Getting into pharmacy school is no easy task, though. It requires excellent grades and a strong resume to begin with. Once those criteria are met, it involves an interviewing process to significantly narrow down the applicants. Only about 10 percent of the total applicants are accepted.  

Knowing this, Dave worked hard to get his grades up, applied for pharmacy school, and eventually was invited to interview with the school.  

Dave knew that the success of his interviews would determine his acceptance into pharmacy school, and he wanted to prepare himself the best he could to meet the challenge. When he saw a posting in the ward bulletin about The Career Workshop, he decided this would be a good opportunity to work on his interviewing skills.

“I knew that The Career Workshop was obviously geared more towards job interviews, but they were able to tailor it completely to me,” said Dave.

At the employment resource center in British Columbia, Dave was greeted by two sister missionaries, Sister Langford and Sister Spencer. The workshop began with some basic training. The sisters taught Dave skills like “Me in 30 Seconds” and power statements that would help him in his interviews. Then they began testing Dave with sample interview questions and critiquing his performance.

 “They made that comfortable chair I was sitting in not so comfortable anymore, and they started firing some tough or kind of ‘off the cuff’ questions at me to try to prepare me for what kind of questions I might get,” said Dave.

Because the sisters knew that these would be high-pressure interviews, they coached Dave through a tough interview scenario and gave helpful critiques of his answers.

“I thought I was pretty good at the whole thing,” Dave said. “But we went through and found lots of areas that I needed improvement in.”

By the end of the workshop, Dave had learned powerful new skills that would arm him in his interviews for pharmacy school—but he wasn’t done preparing. He spent the next two weeks leading up to his interviews studying and rehearsing the skills he had learned until they were polished and natural.

“The workshop was a great start, but I think applying the things I learned there and practicing them every morning for a couple of weeks gave me the confidence that I really could do this,” said Dave.

When it came time for the long day of interviews, Dave was ready.  Because he had applied the principles and was prepared, his confidence carried him through the stressful interview process with ease.

“It was kind of exciting, actually,” Dave said. “I knew that I was prepared. I was prepared with the things that I wanted to say, so when I had the opportunity I was able to use those examples. All of it came naturally.”

Having received his acceptance, Dave is now working though his first year of pharmacy school. Looking back, he credits much of his success to The Career Workshop and the skills he learned there.

“The interviews were the big ‘weeding out’ process, and certainly the skills I learned at The Career Workshop helped me get through it,” said Dave.


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