Last week I had the honor of participating in the Employability Expo. This event is sponsored by the Berks County Transition Coordinating Council (BCTCC) every two years. The council does a lot of events that support transitioning students with disabilities. This event however focuses on employment for future graduates. All participants are Juniors or Seniors who attend all 18 Berks County school districts.
Participants at this event have the opportunity to attend sessions that discuss things they need to be aware of when seeking a job, such as what not to put up on social media that can be seen by potential employers. They eat a coordinated banquet lunch and view a fashion show of what to wear and not wear at a job. The most important part of the day I believe are the interview sessions. Students get to participate in 3 to 4 mock interviews that are given by employers or service providers.
Prior to the even the students prepare current resumes that they present to the interviewer. They are then asked a series of questions by each interviewer. Questions consist of what they do well and problem-solve as well as information about themselves. I was an interviewer. While all of the students did well, some needed practice.
In all of my years of helping students with disabilities, I can tell you that practicing interviewing skills never goes to waste. We can all benefit from practice. This is essential for students. It can help them with any anxiety they may have when interviewing. It also allows them the opportunity to know what to say that is possible about themselves. That is always a hard thing to do especially if one does not think about it ahead of time. Practicing can only enhance the way one performs during an interview.
Take the time to practice interviewing skills with the students. Ask for it to be placed into their goals in their IEP. Look for all types of chances to do this for your child and encourage them to do it too. It can only help!