Westside Students Participate in Mock Interviews | Business
By Daniel Daniels, Bibb County School District Communications Intern
On Tuesday, April 16, and Wednesday, April 17, Westside High School held a Mock Interview Workshop for students enrolled in the Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) Program.
The school's second annual workshop was available to nearly 400 junior and senior CTAE pathway students, and about 40 members of the community volunteered to conduct interviews. Community members participating in the Mock Interview Workshop included representatives of GEICO, State Bank, the Georgia Department of Labor, the U.S. Army, Starbucks, and many more.
Katie Wall, Westside High School Marketing teacher and Work Based Learning Coordinator, and the 2013 Bibb County Teacher of the Year, said the annual Mock Interview Workshop is a way for students to gain experience with the interview process.
“It gives them a glimpse of the real world,” she said.
Ms. Wall also explained that a consequence of the mock interview process is an increase in a student's confidence when he or she receives positive feedback from the interviewer.
“As those kids leave that door, their confidence is just instantly boosted,” she said. ”It’s a morale builder.”
One CTAE student participating in the Mock Interview Workshop was Westside junior Kayla Davis. Kayla, a member of the Marketing CTAE Pathway, said the workshop was great practice for a job interview.
“We’ve been preparing for a week or two to give us a feel of how it is to go in to a job interview,” she said.
She said she learned personal presentation is important in an interview setting.
“I learned that you should always have a positive attitude,” she said. “Always keep a smile on your face.”
Treating the mock interview as you would a real-world interview is important because, as Ms. Wall explained, a few participants in last year’s workshop received jobs based on networking opportunities gained through their mock interviews.
One of the volunteer interviewers at the workshop was Marvel Burgess, a member of Community Affairs and a Professional Recruiter with GEICO. This was Ms. Burgess’s second year volunteering at the Mock Interview Workshop.
“The kids coming through, most of them haven’t had jobs before,” she said. “But they’re here to get experience in interviewing to get those jobs.”
She also said the most difficult part of the job-hunting process is getting your first job.
“Everybody knows the hardest job to get is your first job. It gets much easier after you get that very first job,” she said.
Ms. Burgess said many students sought advice on how to get their first job, and she explained how important it is for an individual to start small and work his or her way up.
“There’s a lot of opportunity,” she said. “They have to have the ambition to get out there and just take it. Maybe coming to something like this and seeing all these different companies involved opens their eyes and gives them a little push.”
“You don’t get any more real world than this,” Ms. Wall said. “This is right in line with Bibb County’s mission of strength of character and having them college ready, real-world ready.”