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NHS Students Learn Interviewing Skills



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NHS Students Learn Interviewing Skills

By Eliza Hallabeck

Sheila Russo of Newtown Youth & Family Services shared interviewing skills with Newtown High School students on Monday, March 29: give a firm handshake, but not too firm; maintain appropriate levels of eye contact; and do the research.

“You should always remember to keep a smile on your face, be enthusiastic, and make sure you always keep eye contact,” said Ms Russo to NHS students Christopher Rekofsky, Adam Hedrick, Drew Beiter, and Terence Lee.

Ms Russo said the Interview Skill Workshop for Youth began in 2009 for youth to learn how to prepare a resume, acquire skills for successful college and job interviews, and for them to gain the confidence to make a memorable impression. The program at NHS is offered through the school’s Career Center.

After completing the resume, on the day of the interview dress to impress, be there 15 minutes early, and make sure the cellphone is turned off, Ms Russo told the students. Another important thing to remember, Ms Russo told the students, is to do research into the company or school to ask specific questions.

“After the interview is over, send them a thank you note,” she said. “Make sure that within three to four days you send them a thank you card. Not an email, not a typed out letter, just one of those CVS cards that says thank you on it. Then you write something on it that says, ‘Dear So and So, thank you for meeting with me. I really enjoyed leaning about the agency.’”

The thank you card reinforces a memory of the interview with the employer, she said.

Something that should always be brought to an interview, she said, is a notebook. Ms Russo explained the notebook helps to ask questions regarding to the job to make sure the agency or school is the appropriate fit.

Once the students had learned interview skills from Ms Russo, she divided the four students into pairs. One group role played the negative interview, and the other group role played the positive interview, using the skills they had just learned.

Since starting the Interview Skills Workshop for Youth, Ms Russo said response from the students has been great.

“It helps them by giving them tips and guidelines when preparing themselves for an interview,” Ms Russo said near the end of the program.

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