Career Center mock interviews help students prepare for the real deal

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Warren County Career Center student Ash Lindell is interviewed by Betts Industries Welding Supervisor Bill Anthony and PennDOT Welder David Schwartz at mock interview day at the career center.

Some of the early parts of finding a career are preparing resumes and successfully navigating interviews.

On Thursday, seniors at the Warren County Career Center practiced their interviewing skills with a number of community partners.

About 70 students put their best feet forward in front of panels of professionals in their chosen fields.

The event was put together by students in the career center’s marketing program.

“It’s important for seniors to get mock interviews because when they go into the real world, they’ll have some feedback from the interviewers,” senior Sean Domville said. “They can also improve their resumes.”

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Warren County Career Center student Riley Downey is interviewed by Warren General Hospital Human Resources Executive Director Laurence Etchison and Director of Business Development and Marketing George Lilja at mock interview day at the career center.

For him, the feedback was to show more confidence and include more on his resume. “An interview is the a good place to be modest,” he said. And “they told me to have everything — everything — on your resume.”

“It gives them an opportunity to better themselves for the job they want,” senior Jenny Johnson said. “Mine was pretty good. I got a lot of good information from it.”

She put an emphasis on confidence going in, but the panelists still wanted more. “They said I need to work on eye contact,” Johnson said. And they wanted to see more on her resume — things including hobbies, “so they get to know me.”

She said going through a practice interview has made her more comfortable with the whole process. “It definitely helped with that.”

“I’d say I was prepared,” Domville said. “But, everyone gets nervous.”

The panelists were chosen and contacted by the students.

“We called a bunch of different companies for each shop,” Domville said. “We have a good turnout this year.”

There were lessons to be learned even at that stage of the event. “A lot of the challenge was getting in contact with people,” Johnson said. “It taught me to be persistent and patient.”

“Things can change a lot when you’re planning an event,” Domville said. “People can change their minds. You have to be able to adapt.”

For this event, Domville and Johnson brought in representatives of colleges and other post-secondary options, something that had not been done at previous mock interviews.

Some of the interviewers said they wouldn’t mind seeing the students have a little more flexibility in their paths. But, at the same time, there were panelists who said they would have been prepared to hire some of the candidates, had they been available.