FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 21, 2014 –
By Rebecca Schwartz
River City High School
With little-to-no work experience and still-awkward social skills that make it difficult to portray the qualities that are desirable in a job, high school students find it hard to compete with more experienced adults.
On May 14th, Ronica Carlisle, River City High School Government and Economics teacher, invited West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, Human Resources Manager of Capitol Area Development, Jill Azuvedo, and the general manager at Wicked West Pizza, Michelle Van De Heetkamp to come and give volunteer students mock interviews, as if they were applying for a job.
Azuvedo explained, “I think it is important high school students learn [how to be interviewed] because it isn’t taught in schools.”
“This is very generous of them to do this,” Carlisle commented to her class, prior to the interviews.
Students who volunteered before the event were called up and were interviewed for an unspecified job in front of the class by the panel of guests. Some qualities that the panel was looking for in each interview were work ethic, charisma, honesty and skill.
“Keep in mind,” said Heetkamp, “We are going to be hiring someone we’ll be spending every day with. Think of yourself, do we really want to spend every day with you?”
After each interview, the panel would give specific feedback according to each student’s particular scenario. Some of their critiques included being engaging with the panel, being concise and specific in their answers, being confident and prepared, conservative in dress, respectful, and most of all to accentuate their best qualities and give solutions to weaknesses.
Carlisle felt it was important to put on this event, because of the difficulties teens have in establishing themselves in the workplace.
Carlisle explained “Youth unemployment is very high. This concerns me because one of the ways young people mature is to work. Also, job experience as a teen helps to secure an even better job as a young adult.”
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