High school students prep for job market

Clifton Hunter interview workshop participants, from left, Jordan Scott, Kaylee Whorms, Wendy Brown, Ashley White, Leah Archibold and Brandon Ramsay. - Photo: Pamela Smith

Clifton Hunter High School held its annual Mock Interview Event for Year 11 students on Wednesday, Jan. 27. The school has been holding the mock interviews for the last 3 years, and the exercise has drawn a lot of interest from both employers and students. The first round of mock interviews are offered to students in Year 10.

“This is the first time may students will have ever had an interview and we believe it is vital that our students are aware of how to dress, learn some interview techniques, and experience what it feels like to prepare for an interview,” said Pamela Smith, the school’s careers coordinator, who organized the event along with teaching and learning coordinator Paula Wythe.

Cashema Rankine and James Dudley from Red Sail interview Waldon Kidd.
Cashema Rankine and James Dudley from Red Sail interview Waldon Kidd.

“Students are invited to interview for one of around 15 advertised positions supplied by local employers such as Maples and Calder, Cayman First, Cayman National, and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service to name a few,” continued Ms. Smith.

Representatives were also on hand from SteppingStones, Red Sail Sports, Cayman Islands Careers Advisory Service, Oneworld Music, Health City, and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.

“At this stage, Year 10 students interview in a group of 3 or 4, so the interview process is less intimidating,” noted Ms. Smith

She said the employers they meet with give genuine and honest feedback based on the students’ cover letters, resumes, appearance, interview etiquette and dress. The process is then repeated in Year 11, where once again students are invited to apply to sample job advertisements.

This time however they interview one-on-one with their potential “employer.”

“We have found that lots of employers are only too willing to help out with the process and really want to be part of an event like this,” said Ms. Smith.

“Employers invest their time in our students, who hopefully will go on to be better future employees for Cayman as a result of perfecting their interview experience and being aware of standards and expectations.”

She noted that the employers who have taken part in the process over the years comment that they can see a difference and growth in the students when they repeat the interview progress at Year 11.

“Students take on the feedback and use it to better themselves and have a more positive experience of interviewing,” she said.

“Students really enjoy the event and see it as worthwhile process,” she continued.

“One of the things that adds to their enjoyment of the experience is that they also get the opportunity to dress in business attire for the day. All the participants responded extremely well to the event and definitely took full advantage of the opportunity.”