Students in the middle school career exploration class typically have a guest speak to their class about their chosen profession. This week, students practiced their job interviewing skills with TK Superintendent Rob Blitchok and High School Principal Tony Petersen asking the questions.
“It was nerve-racking at first,” said Ethan Teachout. He admitted he relaxed a bit after the interview started.
Aidan Dudik said it wasn’t as bad as he thought it might be. “It was a good experience and something I’m going to have to do for real eventually,” he said. “I know what I did right – I had a good handshake and good eye contact.”
Ethan Kooistra said he “crashed and burned. I didn’t know what to say when he asked me why he should hire me instead of the others.”
Jen Reifinger and Lindsey Baxter teach the new class this year and said it’s all about helping students understand who they are, what they want and what options are available. “It gets them thinking about their futures,” said Baxter.
Blitchok and Petersen spoke to the students before the interviews started and gave students hints on what they look for in candidates: sincerity, preparation for the interview, professionalism, eye contact, a good handshake and introduction, and being focused during the interview.
“It’s OK to be nervous,” said Petersen. “We’re looking at how you handle it.”
Blitchok told students interviewing gets easier with practice and gaining confidence in knowing yourself and your abilities.
“This is just a good experience for the kids to get an idea what it’s like to interview for a job. We want them to be able to communicate with others,” said Baxter.
Reifinger said the mock interviews gives students an opportunity to practice articulating their thoughts and work on communication skills. “In any career, communication is important,” she said.