A successful interview day

On Mar. 22, DHS students from Melissa Deboer’s Marketing Class attended Interview Day at Davenport University. Interview day was broken down into three different activities including a team building exercise, a technology seminar and doing mock interviews with local businessmen. DHS students found every part of interview day to be helpful in their future job search.

“I really liked the technology seminar because it is clear that the business world is putting an emphasis on technology and this presentation explained some of the new technology tools out there and why they are important in the business world today,” junior Mark Debney said.

However the mock interviews proved to be most useful to the students . One benefit of the mock interviews was that students got the chance to practice being  interviewed. This was especially helpful for students who are under the age of 16 because they have never had the chance to practice interview for a real job.

“I enjoyed the chance to practice interviewing just because I don’t have much experience interviewing for jobs and to have the chance to practice it is invaluable,” sophomore Audrey Moolenar said.

Another benefit of the mock interviews was DHS students practiced with local businessmen. This was helpful because many of the students didn’t know the interviewer which made the interview seem a lot more real.

“I thought the mock interviews were good because most of the time when I practice interviewing for a job I do it with one of parents so I don’t feel as nervous because I know them and there is a certain comfort level but when I interviewed with strangers it made it seem much more real to me,” sophomore Audrey Moolenar said.

Interviewing with local businessmen was helpful in the sense that they have a lot of experience with interviewing and they know what are the do’s and don’ts during an interview and afterwards they gave each interviewer feedback on what they did well and what they need to work on.

“I liked how they gave you feedback after the interview because you can only guess what you did wrong after an real interview unless they tell you what you did wrong and most of  the time in an actual interview they don’t tell you what you could work on for next time,”Debney said. “But my guy gave me so much helpful feedback even on simple things like lean a little bit forward in your chair because it shows you’re really interested in the conversation.”

Another perk of interview day is that some of the students saw the opportunity to network and build connections with others. After the interview was over some of the interviewers were so impressed by some DHS students interview they were offered volunteer opportunities, the option to put the interviewer down as a reference in a real job interview, or even an actual job at the interviewers company.

“I would have never thought that I would have formed a connection with an important business figure in the community,” Debney said. “I mean to have the chance to put his name down as a reference will be huge for me in my future job search.”

DHS marketing teacher Melissa Deboer also sees the value in attending interview day but one specific thing she likes the confidence it instills in her students.

“Before the interviews most of the kids are terrified and nervous because they haven’t had much experience interviewing but then they come out and they look confident and it’s because the more interviews you do the more practice you get and the more practice you get the more comfortable you become with interviewing,” Deboer said.

A second aspect of interview day that Deboer likes is students get to actually apply to skills they learned in her class and use them in the real world.

“I have my kids practice communication skills in my class like engaging the speaker,  having good eye contact, and greeting everyone with a smile and these are skills that they used in interview day and skills they will have to have in their future job search and it’s really cool to watch them use these skills in the real world,” Deboer said.

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James Volk

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