Preparing students for the real world – La Tribune

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Ironton High School teacher Doug Graham gives a short pep talk to a student before he goes for a mock job interview on Wednesday. Students take multiple courses on everything from creating a resume to how to dress and act in interviews and other job creation skills. (The Ironton Tribune | Mark Shaffer)

IHS courses teach students how to apply for a job

With sweaty hands, nerves on edge, trying to remember to smile, trying to say the right thing and figure out how to answer the famous question “Where do you see yourself in five years?” – no matter your age or your background, anyone who’s been in a job interview knows how scary it is.

At Ironton High School, they have nine weeks of classes to help students familiarize themselves with an interview before doing one for a job. This includes everything from writing a resume to how to dress and behave during the interview.

Doug Graham teaches a career research course and teaches the nine-week courses with teachers Tomi Linter and Kris Billing.

He said that in the first semester they teach juniors and in the second semester seniors learn a variety of subjects that they will need in adulthood such as finances, resume building and other things to get them used to. to take their first steps towards a career.

Graham said he remembers his first job interview well.

“As you speak, you ask yourself ‘Is it the right thing that I am saying?’ and you’re nervous, you’re shaking, you’re sweating, ”he said. “It’s always a sticky situation, whether it’s your first or whether you’ve done 15.”

He said the goal is to teach them to be comfortable when it’s uncomfortable, to be confident about it, and to project that confidence to the interviewer.

“By the time these kids leave these lanes, when they’re seniors, they’ll have had six training talks – three when they’re juniors, three when they’re seniors,” he said. “So every time they leave here, they know what they can grow on, they know what they can improve on. So I hope that when they have this interview against this student from Russell, from Ashland , Wheelersburg, Coal Grove, South Point, they will have a head start.

They also teach them some of the basic questions everyone has in an interview, such as what their goals are and where they want to be in five to ten years.

They are also taught to ask questions about working hours and responsibilities, but to avoid starting with questions such as working wages.

On Thursday, a group of juniors gathered outside the gym doors and armed themselves for mock interviews with one of 15 interviewers, all of whom have held long-time managerial positions or are business owners.

Interviews are brief, 10 to 15 minutes. The first part is a question and an answer, then the students ask questions as they have been prepared to do so. Next, the interviewer recaps with the student, reviewing what they did well and what they need to improve.

“Often times we find that by the time the student has their third interview, they are 100 percent more comfortable than they were in the first,” Graham said.

Chianti Martin, who did his training interview with Ironton Fire Department chief Moose Mahlmeister, said he wasn’t too nervous.

“There’s a little bit in your belly that grabs you, but you just have to sit down and have a good conversation with the person,” he said. And it helps that he already knows Mahlmeister. “He’s a good guy.”

Martin said the teachers had done a good job preparing them.

“They really put it in our heads: a good handshake, good talks with good manners and things like that,” he said. “They worked really hard and we had to show it. “

He had never had a real job interview because he was busy in school and soccer, basketball and track and field.

“Now I have an idea of ​​what I need to do to get a job,” Martin said.

Tayden Carpenter, meanwhile, said he was nervous.

“It’s just a light interview, but there are a lot of distractions and I got a little nervous,” he said. His interview was with Jerry Rowe, who owns several businesses including The Armory, Frisch’s Big Boy, ServePro of Kentucky and West Virginia, and R&R Restorations. “Once I got to talk to him a bit, I felt a lot better. “

He said he enjoyed learning what to do before applying for a job.

“It’s been very helpful,” Carpenter said. “I think it’s going to be very useful, I will know what to expect, how to dress and how to talk to people. It will help a lot.

He also did not have a job interview as he is on the football, basketball and tennis teams.

Katelyn Cecil wasn’t nervous about the mock interviews, as she’s had two actual job interviews and has a job at Little Caesars. She also plays basketball and does track and field.

“I’m always nervous because it’s a different person I’m talking to,” she said. “But I give myself a little pep talk and I go all the way.”

She said the classes would have been helpful when she was interviewed for jobs at two different fast food establishments.

“I didn’t know what to do, so I just responded to whatever they asked me, I didn’t make eye contact, I didn’t write a thank you note,” Cecil said. “Doing these mock interviews has helped me a lot to understand what the real world will look like and what the job interviews will be like.”


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