Job training programs believe in the value of interview prep. But each organization is busy, working to help many people improve their job readiness at the same time. Job interview prep, very time-consuming to do well, is often underinvested in. The lowest paying jobs may not have challenging interviews, but to get the jobs with career-growth and good pay, you need to interview well. That's where Talk Hiring comes in.
Before working on Talk Hiring, I was a software engineer. I felt increasingly guilty as much of my industry was writing code to automate the jobs of others.
In February 2018, I started volunteering with a workforce development nonprofit in Brooklyn. I loved helping low-income New Yorkers with their resumes, cover letters, job applications, and of course, interview skills. I had never done this work before but I was hooked, and continued volunteering weekly.
While volunteering, I noticed that the career development tools in the market didn't fit the needs of workforce development programs. Workforce development programs are doing extremely important work, but the tech industry has largely ignored them as customers of their products. Many participants of job training programs have limited or no access to computers with an internet connection. Some were skeptical about tools to download or create passwords for. Everyone was comfortable talking on the phone and texting. I thought that if there was an extremely simple, low-tech product that had industry-relevant interview questions, the workforce development industry would be interested.
David has first-hand experience in workforce development, both as a mentor and as a participant. By working at Talk Hiring, he can support these programs by offering a mock interviewing tool that improves interviewing confidence and skills.
When he was a peer mentor at COOP Careers, he found it challenging to find enough time for apprentices to conduct mock interviews and improve their interviewing skills. When he was a participant of the COOP Careers program, he noticed that his peers developed the skills they needed to get the jobs they were applying to, but they were still having trouble in the interview process.
Prior to COOP Careers, he was fortunate to have been in sales, first at Milwaukee Tool and then at Tesla. Sales success is all about repetition. He was able to improve his sales skills by selling ideas or products to hundreds of individuals. Confidence in the interview comes from the training leading up to it. If individuals practice more with a tool like Talk Hiring, they will find greater success from the interviews they work so hard to land.
In 2016, Thifen wanted to make a career change. During the day, he worked at the Red Cross, and at night, he attended COOP Careers's digital marketing training program. Since graduating from COOP Careers, he has gained four years of paid social media marketing experience. He was formerly an associate director of paid social at Canvas Worldwide, a national media agency. Thifen wanted to join a company that had a solid foundation in helping others, and especially one where he has personal experience. We are so happy to have Thifen optimizing our advertising to career readiness programs on LinkedIn!