One of the most common challenges faced by claimants participating in Vocational Rehabilitation Services is a singular work history and its impact on interviewing during job placement. All too often, an injured worker has maintained a lengthy career within one industry, or even with one employer, prior to injury. When faced with transitioning to a new career, the prospect of interviewing can be especially intimidating, whether due to the length of time that has transpired since the claimant last applied to or interviewed for a position, or because the targeted field or industry is a new one and they are unsure of their transferable skills. At Independent Rehabilitation Services, Inc., we recognize this dynamic and work diligently to equip our job placement clients for success in the interview arena.

As part of a regularly updated Interview Skills Training curriculum, we emphasize the importance of completing mock interviews with each claimant. These sessions encompass not only what to say to frequently used interview questions, but also instruction on how to research the company and the position, generate specific and practical examples to highlight each element of the claimant’s resume, and tips on appearance and presentation. Claimants are provided with supportive resources, such as note cards or answer prompts, and complete verbal exercises in active listening and following the flow of a conversation in order to make pertinent responses or segues. They are assigned a job lead for preparation, followed by a rehearsal and then formal mock interview with IRS, Inc. staff. These mock interviews have the option to be videotaped for later review and analysis, and can be repeated as many times as needed until the claimant both feels and appears ready to proceed. Should claimants complete a number of employer interviews during their job search without satisfactory results, additional mock interviews and videos can be undertaken to compare progress and highlight any areas in need of improvement.

It can be stressful for claimants facing an intense life change to be asked to market themselves in a way they have not done before, but with a clear plan of action and considerate instruction, it is possible to help them achieve new levels of self-confidence and increase their potential for job placement.

Written by: Marlena Gibson