ANDOVER — Nervous for a job interview? Pymatuning Valley High School helps its students face these fears by hosting a community involved mock interview each semester. The interviews are organized in conjunction with a Life Planning class taught by Andrea Wonderling which is required in order for students to graduate. The goals of the class are to prepare students for their future through career research, job shadowing and college exploration.
Each semester students in the Life Planning class are required to participate in a mock interview. In preparation for the interview students learn about networking, finding ads for jobs and the appropriate dress. Students also have to prepare a resume and job application. The interviews normally last anywhere from five to seven minutes and involve miscellaneous standard interview questions. During the mock interview, the volunteers who are community leaders and actual potential employers from local businesses expect to see the students introduce themselves, provide valuable information about themselves such as special interests or skills, dress well, speak clearly and have good responses to the questions presented.
Principal Dan Jackson has played the role as the interviewer and asks questions such as why the student is seeking the job, how the job relates to the candidates’ life desires, and personal characteristics including strengths and weaknesses. Last year interviewers included Don Vinroe of H&H Enterprises, Anne Starcher and Kay Roller from Ashtabula County Education Service Center, David Jones from Seeley Medical, Susan Hill from Andover Public Library, Paula Raffenaud from Ashtabula County Job Source, Edwina Payne from Realty Net, and Mike Candela and Dan Jackson from Pymatuning Valley Schools.
Interviewers change nearly every semester and even sometimes from morning to afternoon; however it is often local business owners, retired educators, principals, superintendents and representatives from the vocational schools who volunteer their time for this great opportunity to benefit the students.