Around 200-plus local high school students got the opportunity to work on their interview skills and etiquette through one-on-one mock interviews with area business representatives, civic leaders, educators and special guests.
Students received the opportunity through the 3rd Annual Mock Interview day, which was held Feb. 1 at the Norwalk Arts and Sports Complex. The event was presented by The Norwalk Education Alliance.
Students from Norwalk HS, Santa Fe HS, La Mirada HS, John Glenn HS, El Camino HS and Southeast Academy, along with representatives from the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, City of Norwalk, Cerritos College, Southeast Los Angeles Workforce Development Board and the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District participated.
Bob Arthur, President of the Cerritos Optimist Club and one of the event’s panelists, said that he wants “someone to protect my future.”
“…That means I need to be involved in what the youth are doing today,” said Arthur. “And that they are well prepared to take over the responsibilities from local, state and federal levels, not just in a public setting but also in a corporate America setting.
That’s one of the most viable reasons that we look to the future, protect the history and protect what our future might be.”
Arthur added that students seemed very well prepared to “sit down and interview with standard questions.”
“I’m a very visual type person…I watch the expressions on the students that are before me and whether or not they’re absorbing what the advice is that I’m giving to them, and they seem very interested,” said Arthur. “Those are the things that I look towards, what that body language might be; are you grasping what it is that I’m telling you?”
Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District Superintendent Hasmik Danielian says that the programs that are available to students are preparing them for the 21st century skills.
“To the credit of our schools, honestly, and the community, I think we’re all working together to prepare the kids for the challenges [ahead],” said Danielian.
Several of the students participating said that they felt that the experience gave them an advantage over other students.
“It was actually a really good experience,” said Norwalk High School senior Xochitl Berumen, 17. “I think it’s super helpful and it is a little advantage because it prepares me for what is going to come, especially with pursuing a career and going to college.”
“This process really gives students the opportunity to go on one-on-one with someone who has experience in hiring other people,” said Jacob King, 17, a senior at Santa Fe High School. “The one-on-one experience surpasses what people learn in class or online. You actually get a sense of the real experience…one-on-one is definitely more valuable.”