The HOPE Program offers remote-friendly & tech-accessible interview prep amidst COVID-19

255 mock interviews completed on Talk Hiring as their programming goes virtual

Published: July 2, 2020

What is The HOPE Program?

The HOPE Program empowers New Yorkers to build sustainable futures through training, jobs, advancement and lifelong career support - with programs for diverse careers, including specialized training for the green collar sector. With over 30 years of experience in workforce development, HOPE empowers New Yorkers living in poverty to gain and grow careers. They are unique in their service to and success with New Yorkers that have faced unique barriers to employment.

* HOPE focuses on long-term job retention, which is a true predictor of economic self-sufficiency. Their 90-day job retention is 93%, which puts them in the top-decile of workforce development programs nationally. Their 1-year job retention rate is 82%, far above the industry-average.
* HOPE uses data to continuously strengthen their services.
* HOPE offers an intimate and respectful environment which supports all clients as they achieve their goals.

Why did The HOPE Program want to use Talk Hiring?

In early April 2020, The HOPE Program was getting ready to launch their 100% virtual programming. They had spent the past few weeks reconfiguring an entirely in-person curriculum to be virtual and lent out internet-connected devices to students that needed them! They reached out us to see if Talk Hiring could support their interview prep curriculum.

Michele Knox, Brooklyn Program Director, and Linda Nguyen, Digital Literacy Director, led up the rollout of Talk Hiring at HOPE. They really appreciated having access to the Talk Hiring staff dashboards, where they could see how students were using the tool, read student feedback on Talk Hiring, and track interviewing improvement.

HOPE knows that the jobs with career-growth and good pay require strong interviewing skills. But, running mock interviews with staff isn't very realistic; HOPE students know staff well and are comfortable with them. Bringing in volunteers to mock interview students is great practice but very time-intensive to coordinate. HOPE wanted to utilize Talk Hiring to supplement their volunteer-led mock interviews. Plus, Talk Hiring supports most industries that HOPE trains for and offers rich data reporting.

What are the results?

250 mock interviews
2.14 mock interviews per person
73% of interview responses showed improvement!*

*How are we measuring improvement in interviewing skills? Measuring interviewing competency objectively is tough. What we do is, we take the first time a user answered a specific question and the last time that user answered that question. We compare the 2 answers across a variety of dimensions (number of relevant details, conciseness, delivery fluency, length of speaking time) to evaluate if answers improved.

What did users say?

"Doesn’t need to be improved. The idea of it is perfect. And the interview questions were great because it felt real."
"[It] provides me with the opportunity to practice answering questions without feeling self-conscious. It helps me improve my answers in a very clear and concise way. It gives me time to reflect on areas that I need to improve further."
"An ability to practice answers to difficult questions without feeling nervous"
"I honestly love how easy it is for us to conduct an interview. I don’t think I would change anything about your service thank you so much for this"
"The questions were good and gave something to think about"
"It allows me to hear how I sound to others and objectify what exactly I’m saying."
"I am able to prepare myself for the surprise questions."
"Helps me getting better at communicating with others."
"I think it is very helpful to practice on the phone."

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