DOWNEY – A mock job interview event was held on Jan. 14 at Warren High School to provide high school students with a feel for what a professional job or scholarship interview would really be like.
Just as seniors are finishing up college applications, they are working on scholarships and are on the hunt for jobs. High school students typically comment on how intimidating and difficult an interview can be. This feeling of unpreparedness causes students to slip up when taking the first step in their professional careers.
The event was hosted by SkillsUSA, a student-run organization dedicated to prepare students for the workforce through educational programs, events and competitions that all aim to promote career and technical education. This job interview project was organized by students to give the opportunity for their peers to practice their professionalism in a friendly environment and get feedback from their experienced interviewers on how to improve their presence.
“Although there are several workshops to assist students with the writing portion of [college essays, resumes, etc.], we still felt there was a need for additional practice in interviewing, as many of our students are inexperienced and unfamiliar with this element,” commented Kelly Salinas, ASB president at Warren and a SkillsUSA member who was behind planning this event.
SkillsUSA members reached out to find accomplished employers and community members to volunteer their time and give a short interview to students. Most of the interviews were around twenty minutes, with the first half the time for the actual interview process and the remaining time allotted for feedback discussion. The event served about 30 students, and nearly all responded positively based on surveys.
Abraham Pedroza, a senior who participated in the event, stated “ I’ve never been to or heard of any other event like this one. It was a unique experience I’m glad I went to, and now I think I am the best prepared I can be for a real job or college interview I can be.”
This was the first job interview project conducted by SkillsUSA, which is why the club now looks to expand the project to the entire senior class, providing an interview workshop prior to the event, an interview session, and more.
“Exposing every student to a real world situation like a job interview is vital so that they can know what to expect in their future vocations,” added Jeremy Marquez, a Warren High junior in SkillsUSA who assisted during the event.
It would be extremely beneficial for the youth of Downey if more events like this one are organized in the future. It is a goal for SkillsUSA at Warren High to be able to provide such an event that allows all students at the school the opportunity to better their professional development so when the time comes to have an interview they can succeed thanks to this job interview project.