Aced My Interview in Milford prepares people for job interviews using digital tools

MILFORD >> Know that sinking feeling when you’re pretty sure you didn’t ace that job or college interview?

Well, resident and entrepreneur Daniel Thornberg, 27, and his business partner, Doug Unger, have created a new way that they hope can help others avoid that messy feeling.

Aced My Interview uses digital tools to pair clients with human resources experts and professional recruiters for mock interviews done via Skype, Facetime, Google hangouts and other similar tools.

Following the 20-minute mock interview — for a basic cost of $29.99 — clients receive a report card within minutes. There are other services available to hone those skills, build a resume, or take interviewing to the next level.

“You have to sell yourself,” Thornberg said. “A lot of our clientele want to feel more comfortable,” interviewing.

Thornberg hasn’t interviewed for many jobs himself because he became a business entrepreneur as a sophomore at Southern Connecticut State University, but through the workings of his business, he’s developed many skills talking to customers and hiring his own employees, Thornberg said.

He started with a lawnmower walking around the neighborhood looking for mowing gigs, which led to his opening Total Lawn Care & More, which he said has five trucks and 10 workers.

It was as a senior at Jonathan Law High School that Thornberg says he recognized how much talent fellow students had, but they needed help in talking to professionals.

He graduated from SCSU in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Unger is a professional recruiter, so he knows about acing interviews.

The pair have been meeting with area university officials and doing some testing of the Aced My Interview model, and the feedback has been positive, Thornberg said. Thornberg plans to market the business in part through universities.

He said parents spend tens of thousands on school tuition, and for an extra of about $30 — or more for additional services — they can practice interviewing for the career world.

“Most colleges don’t offer you much preparation for an interview. All I was told was to make a LinkedIn profile,” he said.

Dana Rosengard, assistant dean for career development at Quinnipiac University’s School of Communications, said Thornberg and Unger came to a class as part of a regular in-class interview exercise and it was quite positive.

“Daniel and Doug were right on target interviewing the students in this classroom assignment and exercise,” he said. “I am hoping they will continue to take part in the career course.”

Rosengard said he’s always willing to hear about and test programs “that might help our students better position themselves for success,” as part of his charge is to prepare them to enter “the real world via experiential learning opportunities” such as internships.

In the future, Rosengard said he hopes to have Aced My Interview involved in the school’s annual “Media MashUP” that provides education and interaction opportunities.

“Anybody with a computer,” anywhere in the world, can use the service, Thornberg said.

Aced My Interview offers six basic services that can be tailored for a client’s needs: resume review, college entrance interview, professional interview, one-on-one coaching, specialized industry interview, follow-up interview — for those called to second interview.

Interviewees are judged in part on body language, personality and professionalism.

Thornberg said the service is for “anybody looking to better themselves,” including those who have been out of the job market for a while.

“We’ve hired people with tons of experience” to conduct the interviews, Thornberg said. Aside from going over the basics, they may ask a question that requires an interviewee to think fast. An example might be, “If we went out to dinner and you ordered steak and it was undercooked, how would you react?”

Thornberg said the optimum answer might depend on the type of job. If the interviewee were going for a computer engineer job, the best answer might be they wouldn’t say anything. But if going for a customer service job, a better answer might be that you would address the undercooked steak with waitstaff.

Thornberg said they can cater a resume to the industry the job search is in.

Alyssa Mucciacciaro, a Stone Academy graduate who is continuing her education, participated in a mock interview and said “it was a confidence booster even in a trial run.”

“It’s a great idea that’s going to be very successful and useful to people today and in the future, especially college kids,” Mucciacciaro said. “I honestly think it’s an amazing concept.”

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