Knowing what to say and do during a job interview - or what not to say or do - is a key component to landing the perfect job. And at Randolph Technical Center in Elkins, each person who completes the program receives extensive training and evaluation in job interview skills.
John Daniels, assistant director and diversified cooperative training instructor, said every student learns job interview skills through the Global 21 Assessment, now called Education West Virginia.
"Following our training with the students on these skills, we bring in folks from the industry to help us assess the student job interview skills," Daniels said. "They also submit resumes and complete applications in these mock interviews. The mock interview is one of the first things we teach in DCT classes here at the center."
Daniels said having people from industry really helps the students learn interviewing skills and offers a different angle to the students.
He said Molly Glendenning from Davis Health Systems recently helped with the mock interviews.
"She reminded the students not to be negative during an interview," Daniels said. "She asked students to pull out their good points and be ready to sell themselves to potential employers. She also told students that employers seek individuals that are able to describe the skills they already know how to do. Her input was very helpful to the instructors as well as the students."
The Job Interview Rubric used through Educate West Virginia includes helping students learn about their expected appearance during an interview. Students learn what it means to be well-groomed and dressed appropriately depending on the job. Discussions help the student learn to be professional and well-mannered, and cover topics such as handshakes and being courteous.
Students also learn about speaking clearly and distinctly. They learn potential employers look at their use of grammar, pronunciation, voice volume and whether they speak with a proper business tone.
In a job interview, students learn to sit still without fidgeting, and they learn potential employers look at their facial expressions and body movements. Posture, confidence and eye contact are traits all employers find valuable.
Students learn to be concrete and specific with their responses to questions. They learn their answers should be well-constructed and confident. They also must be interested and enthusiastic about the interview process.
Future Business Leaders of America, a student organization at the Randolph Technical Center, sponsors local, state and national contests to evaluate student skills.
An example of a student's success in this area is senior Colleen Webley, who won the local contest in the category for job interview skills. She advanced to the state FBLA contest, where she placed second. Webley will travel to Anaheim, Calif., June 25 to July 1 to compete in the National FBLA contest.
Webley's instructors, Christina Waybright and Denise Stalnaker, said she has worked hard to perfect her job interview skills.
"Colleen has competed in the FBLA tournament at the state level for two years," Stalnaker said. "She has worked hard, and we are very proud she will represent our school this summer in the national contest in California."