Mock Interviews

In keeping with a tradition of several years, on November 29th, members of the Granville Rotary Club, joined by other civic-minded community members, conducted mock interviews with 64 Granville High School seniors. On behalf of the school, the scheduling of the event was coordinated by teacher Marc Lambert as a component of his College Preparatory and Workforce English courses.  Students in Dave Cosey’s Syracuse University Personal Finance class also participated.  Dave O’Brien and Dan Yauger managed the logistics from the Rotary’s end, serving as reliable points of contact and securing a strong team of interviewers.  Following the smooth execution of the interviews, all participants were quick to laud the process.  According to Yauger, "The Granville Rotary Club was pleased to participate in this project again this year. Rotary believes in the value of education at all levels, and the mock interviews have proven to be an excellent way our club can serve the Granville community by assisting graduating seniors in taking the next step beyond high school. We look forward to continuing our excellent relationship with the Granville Central School District for many years to come." 

The interviews closely follow a protocol developed by Granville’s Rotary Club sister club in North Wales, Wrexham Erdigg. The format consists of the  students’ presentation of their biographical data and their response to a series of questions regarding their interests (academic, sporting, and work) and other life experiences outside of school. Additional emphasis is placed on their goals and plans for further education and/or job training. Students subsequently sit next to their interviewers who, with student input, complete an assessment sheet which the student then keeps.

This program is intended to provide graduating seniors with a role-playing experience to help prepare them for future interviews.  Core questions are intended to explore the students' ability, in an interview setting, to comfortably discuss their career goals, as well as their work experiences and interests. Besides students’ abilities to understand and accurately respond to questions, they are also assessed on such matters as personal neatness, ease of manner in talking to previously unknown adults, and eye contact.  In conclusion, students are presented with a short brochure entitled “For Your Next Interview.”

Granville’s College Preparatory and Workforce English programs are designed to effectively prepare students for life after high school, largely by focusing on college and career readiness.  Given the extent to which interviews are a prevalent aspect of both the college admissions and employment search processes, the practical value of this program is significant.  “The Rotary Mock Interviews provide students with the opportunity to hone their interview skills in a low pressure environment, and to benefit from the valuable feedback provided by many accomplished members of our community.  We are very appreciative of this partnership with the Rotary and the willingness of the interviewers to donate their time to help our students by providing personal interviews and honest feedback,” stated Lambert.

Again, as has been the case since the program’s inception, participating members of the senior class were quick to praise the mock interview process.  Jenna Newman commented, “Although I currently have a job, I had never before experienced a formal interview, so I found this opportunity extremely valuable.” Taylor Hoyt echoed this sentiment, commenting, “It was my first interview, and having a low stress environment to practice skills I will use in a high stakes interview situation was tremendously beneficial.”

Susan Hosley is a retired Granville teacher that was instrumental in developing the partnership between the Rotarians and the school district.  Appreciative of the chance to serve as one of this year’s volunteer interviewers, she stated, “What a joy it was to participate in the Rotary Mock Interviews with Granville’s seniors.  These interviews provide an opportunity for students to gain practical interviewing experience in a formal setting.  The students I interviewed were confident and well prepared for the experience.  Thank you to Mr. Lambert, Mr. Cosey, and the Granville Rotary for continuing to provide this experience for the students of Granville.  If my recollection is correct, we started this project in 2012 when Steve Williams from the Granville Rotary approached GHS administration suggesting this project.  The rest, as they say, is history.”

Given the success of the program to date, preliminary plans are already being made to continue the Rotary Mock Interviews next fall.