Mock Interviews Prepare Students for Next Step

Mock Interviews Prepare CRA Students for Next Step
Posted on 02/27/2019
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photo of student during mock interviewsSitting down for your very first interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially with questions like these:

  • “Tell me about yourself.”

  • “What are three words you would use to describe yourself and why?”

  • “What is one of your greatest weaknesses?”

They are tough questions to tackle, but students at Lakota's Career Readiness Academy (CRA) are prepared to answer them.

Last week, 140 CRA students got to take part in a mock interview session with a community volunteer. The interviewers used a rubric to grade and give feedback to the students.

“These mock interviews provide real-world learning opportunities to make sure our students are ready for their next step, whether it is employment, enrollment in higher ed, enlistment in the military or venturing into entrepreneurship,” said CRA Principal Nicole Isaacs.

During advisory period over the last few weeks, students worked with staff members to prepare for the interviews.

“The interviews gave students the opportunity to work on their soft skills – everything from handshakes to making good eye contact,” said Isaacs. “They also learned how to articulate their responses, such as how to frame weaknesses in a positive way.”

Students emerging from the interview room were overwhelmingly positive about the whole experience.

Senior Mikal Anthony Smith emphasized how important it was to prepare for the interviews. He said the answers to questions came easily to him because he had mentally practiced how he would respond.

After his interview, junior Isaiah Walker said, “I believe this is a great opportunity to help us think about what we want to do for a career and how to be prepared for it.”

Interviewers also valued the experience. Lakota’s Purchasing Manager Veronica Gayotin was able to interview eight students. “I would definitely do it again. It was a very insightful experience and I was very impressed by the CRA students. You could see a boost in the confidence level of the students as they went through the interview.”

That confidence was evident when students completed the interviews. Although most of the students were admittedly nervous before their interviews, when they were finished they told others still waiting to go in, “It’s not as hard as you think it is going to be.”

“This is often the very first interviewing experience for students,” Isaacs said. “But preparing them and giving them this practice can really make a difference.”