Looking the part at Interview Day
by Mark Andrews
Mar 13, 2014 | 1289 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cass High student Rachel Blankinship, left, is interviewed by Shaw Tile Sr. Human Resources Manager Karen Nevad. Blankinship said she will be using the interviewing skills she learned to get a job to help her pay bills while attending college. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Cass High student Rachel Blankinship, left, is interviewed by Shaw Tile Sr. Human Resources Manager Karen Nevad. Blankinship said she will be using the interviewing skills she learned to get a job to help her pay bills while attending college. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Bartow County high schoolers on Wednesday were given the chance to put their interviewing skills to the test during the system’s Image and Interview Day. Held at each high school, as well as at the Bartow County College and Career Academy, seniors were paired with volunteers for mock interviews, in which students were graded on their performance, application and resume by their interviewers.

“This is an opportunity for students to get some practice before they get into the real world of interviews to have a chance to practice those skills, putting together a resume, filling out an application, knowing how to dress to present themselves in a job interview, so it’s a practical application for where they want to go in the future,” volunteer and Bartow County Board of Education member Anna Sullivan said.

Students prepared for the event with their teachers at their individual schools as well as with Linda Dieterman, who works in the Cass High School business education department.

“I’ve been very impressed. Clearly they have given some thought to their goals and ambitions in life and as you can imagine, for most kids at that age it’s hard to really say where they want to be 10 years down the road, but most of them have a fairly, clearly defined path or clearly defined idea about their future,” Sullivan said. “I’ve spoken to a couple of kids that said they’re going to work right after high school and they already have a plan for how they’re going to do that; I’ve spoken to several who have applied to colleges and already have a general idea about which colleges they’re going to attend; and I’ve talked to one or two who know they want to pursue additional education after high school, but they’re not quite sure yet where they want to go.

“All in all, I haven’t come across anyone who had no idea whatsoever, so that was really nice to see.”

She continued, “Some [resumes] are very detailed, some need a little work and polish, but for them to be able to do that at this point and this time of the year, it’s great because it really will give them a head start. I’ve seen a lot of kids where their primary experience is working with family businesses, I talked to one young man who really has an entrepreneurial spirit, he wants to own his own business down the road, and to hear how they plan to get there has been very interesting.”

Volunteer Steve Holloway, who retired from the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office in 2005 and currently owns and operates the Adairsville Sporting Range, said, hypothetically, he would hire any student he interviewed during the event.

“I’ve been absolutely amazed and impressed with the kids that came out here today. I’ve met everything from honor roll, I’ve met kids that want to be a mechanic, it’s just been eye-opening to see the spectrum of everyone who has come out today,” Holloway said. “The biggest thing I have asked them is what are their goals and what interests them and I have tried to drive them to whatever their goal is ..., if that’s your true love, do that, and you see their eyes sparkle with that desire.”

Aryn McClure is following the health care career track at AHS and said she plans to attend Georgia Highlands College and then Dalton State College following graduation in order to become a surgical nurse. She said her health care occupations instructor Rhonda Hendrix helped her and fellow students prepare for Image and Interview Day.

“My teacher has looked over our resumes and helped with our resumes and applications, she made sure she highlighted our good qualities and bad qualities so we could make sure to leave [the bad] stuff out and really just helped us prepare, especially being in health care that we know our terminology in case they ask, the wages and the salaries for the career path we want to go down,” McClure said.

McClure said she had a great experience interviewing with volunteer Beth Bennett, an H&R Block general manager.

“... I was nervous about the interviewer, that they were going to be real strict and ask question to question and [not] worry about me, ... but she really took an interest in me and what I want to do in my future,” she said.

Tyler Chastain participates in the school’s construction program and currently works at Bo’s Pallets & Mulch in Adairsville. He said he enjoyed the interview process.

“I had a little bit of preparedness, I’ve had three jobs so I’ve had a pretty good amount of interviews ... so I wasn’t too scared, but I was a little bit nervous,” said Chastain, who interviewed with Adena Harper, who serves as chair of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce. “I’ve never done anything with a resume, so that scared me a little bit. It was a little bit different.”

Chastain said Harper helped him learn more about what he should expand upon on his resume, and during the interview process, when seeking a new job.

“I told her one of my goals in my life would be [becoming] a supervisor at Bo’s Pallets. She asked me why and told me I should tell a little bit more about what I would be doing in the supervisor position and why I would want it,” Chastain said.