Senior Blitz gives interview practice

Published 2:40 pm Thursday, May 3, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County High School seniors completed a gauntlet of interviews during Senior Blitz on May 3 and 4.

Students participated in four back-to back interviews answering different questions in each to improve their skills in preparation for applying for jobs after graduation.

“At first, I kind of dreaded it. I think everyone really did,” Anna Smith said. “In the end, I think it was a great experience for all of us.”

Smith said the input will be helpful in the future. Some of Smith’s feedback was not to talk with her hands and “to get my point across better.”

She said she enjoyed meeting each of the people participating as potential employers.

“We all felt like it was a burden to do, but after we got in here, I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed interviewing and talking to these people,” Tilby Miller said.

Miller said she felt the professional setting helped her to get a feel for what an actual job interview would be like.

“I enjoyed making my resume,” Miller said. “I enjoyed telling them about myself and my accomplishments.”

Riley Locke said at first he was anxious about adding one more thing to his last semester, especially with calculus tests on the horizon.

After the event, Locke said he appreciated the opportunity to get interview practice in a professional setting.

“I liked the constructive criticism,” Locke said. “I think the interviewers did a great job of giving self-satisfaction, while also giving you things to work on.”

Madi Price said she felt the Senior Blitz was very realistic in the interview questions that were used, focusing on strengths and weaknesses. She said keeping these questions in mind will help her prepare for future interviews.

It did prove a little challenging to answer the questions without stuttering, she said.

Abbey Porter said she was excited about the practice interviews.

“I was really looking forward to coming in and getting immediate feedback on what I need to work on.” Porter said.

She was also excited to meet someone in the field she wants to work in.

“He works for Alabama Power and graduated from Auburn with an engineering degree,” Porter said.

CCHS Principal Ron Pinson said they wanted Senior Blitz to be a “real-world practice event.”

“Any time you try to implement something for the very first time, even like a lesson, you always have those butterflies —is it actually going to unfold the way you planned it and I think the students are taking it serious,” Pinson said.

He said he was very excited about the event and how it turned out.

Assistant Principal Jason Deason said he hoped the experience helps students understand the process.

Both administrators said they had been nervous about the event, but they were proud of the students.

Deason reached out to community leaders and talked to those he met about participating as an interviewer for the event.

“We have gotten a lot of comments about how impressed they have been with our students and the process of what we are trying to do,” Pinson said.

Some were also contacted because Deason knew students were interested in their field.

Alabama Power was one employer multiple students had mentioned. Mike Jordan and T.J. Pruitt of Alabama Power participated in the event.

Jordan said he was glad to be a part of helping students learn want they need for job interviews.

“I have enjoyed hearing how motivated these kids are,” Jordan said. “All of them that I have interviewed have a really firm grasp of what they what they want to be and what they want to do after high school. They are excited about their career path.”

He said he also enjoyed seeing the various fields that students were interested in.

“I am very, very, very passionate about developing students, recruiting and anything to do with developing students and helping them get to the next level,” Pruitt said.

He said it was good to see the students motivated and planning ahead.

Pruitt said it was a testament to the community how many students said their role models were their parents.

“I think it is a great experience to have it (interview practice) in advance, so they can become comfortable with the process,” Shanon Hamilton of St. Vincent’s Chilton said.

He said he hopes students take the advice from the interviewers about improving their resumes and communication skills to be successful in the future.

Julie Emmerich said participating in Senior Blitz was a “good way to give back to the community.” Emmerich said she hoped the event will ensure students have a good first interview when they go to apply for a job.

The school was thankful to Hickory Chip and Bertolone Italian Cafe for donating food for the event.