Handbook - Henrico County Public Schools


Handbook - Henrico County Public Schools

Table of Contents



Success Stories

Requirements For Success

Organization For Success

Student Reminders

Questions & Answers


Sample Parent Letter

Lesson Planning Guide

Interviewer Instructions

Interview Evaluation Form

Mock Interview Community Partners by


















The Mock Interview program connects students with local business leaders to

provide professional interview practice in a simulated but realistic environment.

The program is designed to give students practical experience in career preparation

and the job search, allow students to connect with real business men and women in

our local community, and to provide opportunities for community leaders to

participate in the educational process and share their business expertise with young

people who are soon entering the work force.

General Benefits

For Students:

• Receive practical experience with community business leaders, honing

career preparation and interview skills.

• Increase comfort level in professional situations.

• Practice communication and self-­‐presentation skills.

• Obtain beneficial feedback from business leaders on performance.

For Schools:

• Experience positive exposure of students, who are soon entering the work

force, to local business leaders.

• Showcase school and students to potential community business partners.

21 st Century Learning Potential

Mock Interview allows for technology-­‐based preparation in the following ways:

• Preparing portfolio documents.

• Using Microsoft Office software most often used in professional settings


• Researching career interests online.

• Downloading and completing the Commonwealth of Virginia State


• Filming and critiquing in-­‐class practice sessions.


Success Stories

The Mock Interview program won the

2012 NaCo Award

Quotes From Business


Bank Executive: “If I were hiring

right now, I would definitely snap up

these students!”

Marketing Representative: “I’d

consider hiring this student to intern

with me. I like his style.”

Attorney: “I feel more secure thinking

about our future after working with

these students today.”

Senior VP: “I couldn’t believe how

focused my interviewees were. They

have developed long-­‐range goals and a

life plan. Impressive!”

Quotes From


“I feel so much

more comfortable

for future

interviews with this

experience under

my belt. Thank


“[The interviews]

gave me knowledge

about the whole

process and

experience, which

is so valuable to


2,609 interviews have been conducted through Mock Interview in the

past five years.

Mock Interview has grown from one event in 2008 to nine events at eight

different high schools in 2013.


Requirements For Success

What is needed for a Mock Interview Program at your school

• An excellent teacher, willing to

guide the students through the

preparatory process.

• A subject area with a career

unit/focus in order to adequately

prepare students without diverging

from course material.

• Administrative support to

strengthen collaboration between

school and businesses and assist in

open communication.

• Community professionals to

conduct the interviews. Contact

information for businesses is

provided in the Appendix.

Organization For Success

What should be done before the event

• Select a date with the school’s administrative staff.

• Reserve school library for the day of the event.

• Send home a parent letter outlining the unit of study and the end product.

[Example letter provided in Appendix.]

• Contact business leaders and confirm participation.

• Teach career unit to prepare students, including tasks such as:

o Completing career aptitude test with analysis of results.

o Researching careers in student’s identified skill cluster.

o Creating and compiling a portfolio, containing a resume, cover letter,

application, and up to three letters of reference.

o Practicing job interview skills such as answering and asking questions,

professional dress, and manners and decorum.

[See sample Unit Planning Guide found in Appendix.]


What happens during the event

• Provide parking and simple hospitality (water, coffee, snacks, etc.) to volunteers.

• Notify main office receptionists of visitors and post signs for directions to event.

• Host orientation for interviewers 30 minutes prior to event starting time to

discuss procedures and distribute evaluation and instruction documents.

• Disperse interviewers around the library, seated one per table, as space allows.

• Upon student arrival, randomly assign students to interviewers.

• Volunteers conduct the interviews for approximately 10-­‐15 minutes. [See

Instructions Sheet in Appendix for sample questions.]

• Interviewers review each student’s portfolio and grade them using the

evaluation form. [See Evaluation Form in Appendix.]

• Interviewers provide feedback in the space on the back of the evaluation form

during the interview.

• Students are sent to a holding area to await their next interview. It is

recommended that each student experience 3 different interviews.

• Collect evaluation forms from interviewers at the end of the event so the

rotation is not disturbed.

Student Reminders: Do’s and Don’ts

DO make your portfolio perfect. Items should be typed or written legibly in blue or

black ink. PROOFREAD everything and make corrections.

DO dress for success! It is possible for someone to look nice/attractive but still not be

dressed properly for an interview. Create at least one professional dress outfit suitable

for job interviews.

DON’T underestimate the power of a first impression.

• First impressions are formed in seven seconds.

• 38% of a first impression is based on tone of voice (how you say things).

• 7% is based on what you actually say.

• 55% of a first impression comes from nonverbal cues. More than half of every

first impression is based on how you look!

DO practice prior to your interview.

• Prepare answers to likely questions so you are more comfortable and relaxed.

• Practice introductions. Make sure you are comfortable with handshakes and

making eye contact. Your handshake should not be too weak or too firm, and

your eyes should be focused on the other person’s eyes, not around the room or

at their hand or shoulder.

• Prepare 1-­‐2 good questions you can ask when prompted by the interviewer.

DO remember to be engaging, attentive, and polite. TAKE NOTES!

DON’T forget that the interviewers are professional business leaders of Henrico County.

Represent yourself, your teacher, and your school well. This event may open up a job

opportunity for you down the road.


Questions & Answers

Q: Why is HEF no longer in charge of Mock Interview

A: HEF has guided the program for over 10 years, during which time it has grown to

nine separate events for eight schools. Each high school is unique and can best

manage their own program at the site level. HEF remains committed to the program

and will help and advise as needed and requested by a school.

Q: How many interviewers are needed

A: Ideally, it is best to have 1 interviewer per student in the class. This ensures that

students are not “waiting around” to be interviewed. However, having too many

interviewers means that you will have unused interviewers if students are absent.

This is not good—you never want an interviewer who is giving their time to sit idle.

If you have more interviewers than students, set up a panel of interviewers to

expose students to another, more common type of interview. Here are some target


Class of 20-­‐25 students—15-­‐20 volunteers

Class of 25-­‐30 students—20-­‐25 volunteers

Q: What do we do if we can’t find enough volunteers

A: HEF has made contacts with community groups and businesses that have agreed

to support each school’s event. [See Appendix.] Other ways for locating volunteers


Communicating the need through the school’s PTA

Contacting companies that currently have community partnerships with the


Connecting with faith-­‐based organizations near your school

Soliciting volunteers from staff spouses who work at businesses in the area

Q: Who should conduct the orientation session the day of the


A: Someone who understands the goals of the program and can easily explain the

process should conduct the volunteers’ orientation. Paula Roop, HEF Program

Manager, is available to come the day of your event to conduct the orientation

session and facilitate the interviews throughout the event. Email her at:


Q: How much money does the program cost

A: The only costs are the hospitality items the day of the event, nametags for the

interviewers and copies of the instructions and evaluation documents.


Q: What happens the day of the event

A: On the interview day, 15 to 20 interviewers gather at the hosting school library

to lend their expert interviewing skills. After introductions and a brief orientation

on the evaluation process, the students/interviewees arrive and the interviews

begin. Each student will interview for 10 to 15 minutes per business leader with a

goal of three interviews per student. This allows students to interview with a

variety of individuals and sharpen their interview skills from one interview to the

next. Employers are encouraged to provide constructive advice to students both

during the interview and in more detail on the student evaluation form. The process

is repeated throughout the session. At their next class meeting, students receive

their evaluation sheets and discuss their interview experiences with their teacher

and classmates. This significant discussion fosters student reflection on what went

well, what didn’t go well, and what they would do differently next time.

Q: How do we engage parents in Mock Interview

A: A letter at the beginning of the career unit should notify parents of students’

involvement in the Mock Interview Program. This is particularly important because

of the need for students to dress professionally for the event itself. Parents may

need notice in order to help their student locate the necessary attire. The event

should be discussed with parents at Back to School Night events and in parent

conferences to emphasize its importance.


o Sample Parent Letter


o Unit Planning Guide

o Interviewer Instructions

o Mock Interview Evaluation Form

o Mock Interview Community Partners by School



Dear Parent:

I am excited to be able to offer a wonderful opportunity for your student

as part of their participation in the Life Planning class. We will conduct

a Mock Interview event in the library at John Smith High School on

Tuesday, March 27 beginning at 9:00am. We will be inviting community

businessmen and women to provide interviewing practice. Your

student will experience a minimum of three job interviews that day.

I will be offering a full career unit to prepare the students for this event.

They will each create a portfolio to include a cover letter, resume, job

application and letters of reference. These will be graded assignments

and will help the students develop an understanding of the job search


As part of the unit we will also discuss professional dress. Your student

will be asked to wear appropriate business attire on the day of Mock

Interview. I will post photos of acceptable outfits for students on my

classroom blog at: _____________________________________________. I would

appreciate it if you would view these photos and begin talking to your

student about this event. Your student will need your help and advice

concerning their interview outfit.

Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions for the event.

We are excited to offer this opportunity for your child.

Sincerely yours,

Susie Q., Life Planning Teacher


Unit Planning Guide


Goal Setting





Time on



2 weeks • Part of unit leading into Career

(Pre-­‐unit Planning


1 week • Students complete

interest/career inventories

• Invite School Counselor

• Identify Career Clusters

• Have students research 5 jobs

in a specific Career Cluster and

do a PP presentation on

necessary education/training

• Show video about Life After

High School or entering the

World of Work

• Perhaps invite a guest speaker

to share their career with


1 week • Reading job ads: newspaper

and online (parts of a job ad,

abbreviations used)

• Students create a job ad as if

they were the hiring employer

(computer or paper based


• Students search for job ads

that they are actually

interested in


1. School Counselor may help

administer inventories

2. Interest/Career Inventories

through the VA Wizard



3. Career Clusters at



4. Virginia View at


5. Virginia View Career Cluster

videos at


(click on scrolling pictures under

“Explore a Career Cluster”)

6. Create a Career Cluster Project

Presentation Rubric

7. Life After High School video with

viewing guide from Meridian

Education website:



8. Speakers could include local

business leaders, professional

organizations, etc.

1. http://www.employmentguide.c


2. Richmond Times Dispatch (paper

or online)

3. Understanding Content

Vocabulary in Employment Ads


4. Employment Abbreviations

5. Job Advertisement Rubric




1 week • Introduce mock interview


• Do’s and Don’ts of a job


• Sample job interview


• Students think of job

interview questions and

practice answers

• Dressing for Success (students

cut from magazines what is/is

not appropriate for interview)

• Invite HR rep to give

presentation on do’s and

don’ts of job interviewing

Portfolio 4 weeks • Complete a job application

(Introduce the parts of the

application and importance of

complete applications)

• Resume, parts of a resume,

write a draft

• Letters of Reference (students

can practice writing a

reference letter for someone


• Cover letter

• Thank you letter

• Business Card





Prep &

Actual Event

1 week • Give sample interview


• Students write answers and

practice answers

• Record students interviewing

each other-­‐ students act as

employers and prospective


• Students finalize portfolios

and practice using them

1 week • Invite guest speakers to

emphasize professional

interview behavior

• Mock Interview Event Day

• Share student results

• Discuss experiences

• Write thank you notes

1. Don’ts of Interview Dressing

2. Sample Interview Questions

3. Magazines or websites showing

professional dress photos

4. HCPS Human Resources

representative for guest speaker

5. Virginia Employment




1. Commonwealth of Virginia job

application (comprehensive)

2. Ready, Set, Go! -­‐ Preparing a

Career/Employment Portfolio at



3. Online templates and examples

http://fefe.arizona.edu/, Lessons

under Professional Development

1. Sample Interview Questions from

Event Materials

2. Digital Video Camera

3. Sample interview questions and

application tips at


4. Virginia Wizard. Students can

complete actual resumes at



1. Online templates and examples of

thank you notes

Recommendation: Introduce one interview question as a bell ringer each day beginning week 3





Each interview should last 10-­‐15 minutes. Students will be randomly assigned to you.

The students should greet you with Good Morning/Afternoon, state his/her name and the

position they are applying for. They should wait to sit until you offer them a seat.

Each student will prepare a portfolio containing a resume, cover letter, application, and up to

three letters of reference.

Please view the contents in the folder and grade them using the evaluation form. If the

student does not have an item in his/her portfolio, place a zero or “N/A” in the column.

On the back of the evaluation form there is space for you to make brief comments on the

student. Keep your evaluation forms until the end and we will collect them as a group.

Ask the students general interview questions. They are encouraged to ask you questions at

the end of the interview.


1. Tell me a little about yourself.

2. What do you consider strength

3. What do you consider a weakness

4. Where do you see yourself in the next three-­‐five years

5. Why should I hire you

6. What jobs have you held How were they obtained and why did you leave

7. Describe your ideal job.

8. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult person. How did you handle the


9. Tell me about a time you had to handle multiple responsibilities. How did you organize the

work you needed to do

10. What can you bring to the company

You are free to ask other questions. Each student has researched the job he/she is applying

for. The student should be able to answer questions in relation to that position.



Student Name: _________________________________________________________ Date: ____________

Position Interviewed for: ________________________________________________________________

Interviewer: ________________________________________________________________________________

Directions: Please rate the performance of the student being interviewed using the

criteria listed below. For each item rate the student on a scale from 0-­‐5 (0 = “not

included or n/a”, and 5 = “excellent”) Please take additional time to make notes or

comments concerning answers or behaviors that affected you in a positive or

negative way on the attached form.



Not included Poor Fair Average Very Excellent

or n/a


Greeting the Interviewer 0 1 2 3 4 5

Handshake 0 1 2 3 4 5

Resume (Complete, accurate, error

free, single sheet)

0 1 2 3 4 5

Cover Letter 0 1 2 3 4 5

Job Application 0 1 2 3 4 5

Letters of Reference 0 1 2 3 4 5

Dress appropriate to interview

(Clean, no jeans, professional)

0 1 2 3 4 5

Posture (Sits up, feet on floor, hands

are controlled)

0 1 2 3 4 5

Eye Contact (Looks at interviewer

when answering questions)

0 1 2 3 4 5

Poise (Applicant is calm and at ease

with interview)

0 1 2 3 4 5

Organization/Professionalism 0 1 2 3 4 5

Interest and Enthusiasm 0 1 2 3 4 5

Attitude 0 1 2 3 4 5

Voice Projection (Clarity) 0 1 2 3 4 5

Listening Skill (Attentiveness,

Appropriateness of response)

0 1 2 3 4 5


(Ability to answer questions)

0 1 2 3 4 5

Communication (ability to ask


0 1 2 3 4 5

Confidence Level 0 1 2 3 4 5

Thanked the Interviewer 0 1 2 3 4 5

Overall Evaluation 0 1 2 3 4 5


Notes and Comments (concerning answers or behaviors that affected you in a

positive or negative way):


























Community Partners By School

School Community Partner Contact Information

Freeman CarMax, Inc.

12800 Tuckahoe Creek


Richmond, VA 23238

Veronica Hinckle

Tel: 747-­‐0422 (ext. 4224)


Glen Allen




MeadWestvaco Corp.

501 South 5 th St.

Richmond, VA 23219

Henrico Business Leaders

2800 N. Parham Road,

Suite 204

Richmond, VA 23294

Capital One

15000 Capital One Drive

Richmond, VA 23238

Grove Avenue Baptist


8701 Ridge Road

Richmond, VA 23229

Faith Landmarks Ministries

8491 Chamberlayne Rd.

Henrico, VA 23227


4301 Dominion Blvd.

Suite 200

Glen Allen, VA 23060

Tel: 804-­‐837-­‐1996



1801 Bayberry Ct.

Suite 103

Richmond, VA 23226

Dobbie Newman

Tel: 444-­‐7961


Steve Magat, Education Committee

Tel: 804-­‐912-­‐1103


Sarah Midkiff


Robby Christmas, Outreach Pastor

Tel: 804-­‐740-­‐8888


Lisa Isbell

Tel: 262-­‐7104


Pam Goggins

Tel: 804-­‐560-­‐5030


Robert Michie, Sr. Account Manager

Tel: 804-­‐767-­‐3272






Capital One

15000 Capital One Drive

Richmond, VA 23238

Allianz Global Assistance

9950 Mayland Drive

Richmond, VA 23233

Sarah Midkiff


Brendan M. Paget, Director,

Marketing Operations, USA

Tel: 804-­‐281-­‐6759

Fax: 804-­‐281-­‐6769



Greater Richmond


Henrico Business Council

P.O. Box 1598

Richmond, VA 23218

Greater Richmond


Henrico Business Council

P.O. Box 1598

Richmond, VA 23218

Debbie Jackson

Tel: 783-­‐9309


Debbie Jackson

Tel: 783-­‐9309



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