Staff Writer

ANDOVER -- It was a lesson in life for students in the Life Planning class at Pymatuning Valley High School, Tuesday.

The sophomore students participated in mock interviews with representatives of the Pymatuning Valley Local School District and the Andover businesses community. Micki Heath of Andover Sparkle Market, Cody Hunt of Andover Dairy Queen, Joan Lightner of Infinity Resources, Superintendent John Rose and Mike Sass of Seeley Medical conducted the mock interviews.

Joanne Mechling, a Family Consumer Science teacher, has been preparing the students for the interviews during the semester. Students completed career research projects, learned how to create resumes, fill out applications, completed career narratives and learned about employability skills.

"I feel the class definitely helps the students prepare for job hunting and any kind of interview-skills situation," Mechling said.

Life Planning is a required course for all PV 10th-grade students, she said. Work done in the class also counts toward the required Career Passport, which all students need as part of their graduation requirements.

During the mock interviews, students were rated on their appearance, poise, questions, closing, applications and resumes, Mechling said.

Sophomore Jessica McCumber said she expected the mock interview to be nerve-racking but found it to be fun. The mock interview helped McCumber to know what to do, and what not to do, when on a real job interview, she said.

Mike Woodin, another student, felt the class helped him prepare for the mock interview and in a real job-hunting situation, he said. ; ;

Superintendent Rose, who conducted interviews, said it was a great opportunity for him to help the students. He also got a chance to meet the students.

"I don't always get to meet the students on a daily basis," he said.

Questions Rose asked the students were what their interests were, whether they had previous employment experience, and what three qualities did they have that would make them employable, Rose said.

The students were well-prepared and took the mock-interview process seriously, Rose said.

Mechling has been teaching the Life Planning class since 1997 and has community members come in and conduct the mock interviews, she said. A panel discussion about job interviewing was held Thursday, in which students and business people met.

Students were told about proper dress for a job interview, how to greet the interviewer, and common questions that likely will be asked during a real interview.

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