SJC’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) hosted 40 students from three local high schools last week for “Interview 360,” an event designed to teach the students the basics of interviewing for a job or internship.
The activities at the May 3 event tie into one of the key elements of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at the students’ respective high schools, which require students to secure an internship or job as part of their curriculum.
Students took part in a speed interviewing program that asked them to sit for three-minute interviews with a panel of SJC alumni, professionals and volunteers. During the sessions, the students received tips on how to professionally discuss their qualifications and field interview questions. They also garnered advice on how to adapt and thrive in unfamiliar circumstances.
“’Interview 360′ was created with the goal of getting students to actively think about the internship and job search process and learning how to present their best selves to potential employers,” said Damien Duchamp, Ed.D., department head of HTM at SJC Brooklyn. “We’re taking students out of their comfort zones and confronting them with fun challenges. They develop new skills while having a good time and making new friends, which is, in my opinion, the best way to learn.”
While one group of students did mock interviews, another group of students participated in group challenges designed to draw out their communication and leadership talents. Activities included pulling books out of a stack without having the others fall, and pretending to ship one of the students to France, complete with bubble wrap.
Following each of the challenges, students were debriefed and given constructive feedback to help prepare them for future interviews.
“I appreciated the Interview 360 experience at SJC Brooklyn because my students are learning the skills they will need to secure a job or internship,” said Gisele Washington, a hospitality and tourism instructor at Long Island City High School. “As they continue to perfect the art of the interview, I know they will be prepared to land a job in the career of their dreams.”