LIMA — Makerfest’s extreme interview makeover and mock interview Friday at Veterans Memorial Civic Center has helped Lima-area high school students like Noah Carter prepare for job interviews.
Makerfest, a Link Lima workforce initiative of Greater Lima Region Inc., is a three-day event for local talent to connect with employers in manufacturing, healthcare, service and skilled trades.
Sixty high school students met with Lima-area professionals to review and learn best interviewing skills and then conducted mock interviews.
The activities were meant to prepare students for the Makerfest job fair today and interviewing in general, said Annette Swisher, general manager of Wingate by Wyndham Lima downtown.
“A lot of teens don’t understand that they need to talk about themselves, show an employer what their skills are and that they are coachable and trainable,” said Swisher. “They need to talk and articulate who they are and what they want to do.”
Students learned about the importance of handshakes, good posture, eye contact, voice volume, articulation, speed of speech, fidgeting, confidence, appearance and more.
“I love being able to help other kids,” said Heather Jordan, Huntington Bank downtown branch manager, who has volunteered for the last three years. “For me, it’s an opportunity to give back. Also, there are times when young people and people in general come in and do interviews with me and they are not prepared.”
Beth Seibert, with Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District, said the mock interviews helped determine if the students could apply what they had just learned and simply practice a bit.
“Most of these young people, when they go out for a job they are competing with other people and this activity helps them put their best foot forward,” said Seibert. “For many of them, this may have been one of their first experiences with interviewing, and I think doing it with a stranger as opposed to a teacher is a real experience for them, too.”
Carter, a Van Wert High School senior, said he enjoyed the activities because he learned a lot about himself.
“During the Makerfest we get to compete with fellow people from places likes Bath and Lima Senior,” said Carter. “It’s neat to not only compete in sports but also in academics. My experience has been great to be able to learn and better myself.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews