I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to sit on a mock interview panel of our freshmen Block 9 students this past Thursday morning. Kudos to Block 9 teachers Leslie Conley and Wendy Rivas who did a very good job of preparing students to succeed in an interview setting.
It is always encouraging to see our young people excel in a very pressure packed and challenging setting. This is a far different setting than the ones they have become used to on a daily basis. We know the life of a young teenager is preoccupied with what would appear to be many more "interesting" things than preparing for job interviews. To their credit, our kids did take it very seriously and did put some real effort into the process.
Here is why this type of learning and this type of exercise is so relevant today:
- One of the four C's in 21st Century Learning is being modeled and taught in this process. That "C" is communication.
- Students learn to communicate in so many positive ways including learning to speak publicly under pressure, and to speak confidently to a group of strangers.
- They also learn to communicate in different ways such as coming to the interview dressed appropriately and they are learning to pay attention to their body language and how that can signal a weakness or a strength in an interview. Even somethings simple like eye contact, and a firm handshake can make the difference in being considered for employment. Of course, students also learn a bright smile makes all the difference as well.
- They learn to communicate in writing, and they find neatness, skill, efficiency and proper use of words and construction of sentences can make all the difference even in an interview for cashier job.
I look forward to these same students leveraging their confidence and ability to communicate to the next level through online resumes, blogs, and other writings to show off those skills that prepare them for the electronically rich world they are entering as adults.
The powerful aspect of this learning is these students not only learn these "interview" skills at a young age, and they can apply it to similar real experiences in the future, but most importantly, these young people can learn to apply these principles to their everyday lives!