KidsTek high school students have been involved in a career exploration course this summer during the Aurora Youth 4 Success program. Students learned how to look for jobs online and learned word processing skills through creating and editing resumes and cover letters. The course culminated last week with a mock interview session attended by members of the business community.
In preparation for the event, students had their resumes and cover letters edited, they practiced possible interview questions with peers, and they learned about appropriate attire for various types of interviews.
While some of the students appeared nervous at first, each interviewer took their time to make students feel comfortable and gave them one-on-one feedback at the completion of each interview. The afternoon ended with a panel discussion where our guests related experiences in their professional lives.
Our guest interviewers included some long-time friends of KidsTek:
Michael Jack has been the owner of Segue Executive Search for over thirty years and regularly volunteers for KidsTek events.
Karen Frey has also been a recruiter for many years and is a managing partner for an executive search firm, EFL Associates. She has helped KidsTek in previous mock interview exercises for our teens.
Aimee Meester heads Madison Taylor Marketing. She has worked on marketing KidsTek for the past couple of years and has been a guest speaker at KidsTek high schools.
Mock interviews help our teens to reduce stress and anxiety about interviewing while boosting confidence for future interviews. Our guest interviewers point out student strengths in the interview process. By building their confidence, students are more likely to perform better in an actual interview. Mock interviews also provide students with constructive feedback in a low-stress environment.
Aimee Meester says that “KidsTek not only provides an excellent tech education, but also real-life applications. By taking students through the the job search steps ending with interviews is a learning experience that the students won’t soon forget and will benefit them regardless of their career path. Each student I interviewed was extremely well-prepared and valued the feedback given to them. When it’s time for their first real interview they will know what to expect, and what their interviewer is expecting.”
Steve Kessler, KidsTek’s instructor for the course, summed up the event by saying that “The students exceeded our expectations for professionalism and confidence with their interviewing skills. Practicing good interviewing skills is something they will be doing for the rest of their lives!”