Demopolis seniors get real world experience with mock interviews

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 7, 2005

Clad in their business best, seniors at Demopolis High School sat across tables from local business leaders Thursday and marketed their skills in hopes of obtaining a job. Well, not really, but they were getting in some good practice anyway.

The exercise was part of a mock interview event, led by Lucinda Mason, in an attempt to prepare the soon-departing students for life in the world of job hunting.

“We are providing seniors with the opportunity to sit for a mock job interview in hopes it will prepare them for the real ones,” Mason said as she directed students to various interviewers.

“Students have to fill out a job application and then answer any questions the employer asks,” Mason said. “The employers have an evaluation form they fill out and we will go over that with the student later.”

Approximately 125 students participated, though some a bit reluctantly.

“Ahead of time they were very apprehensive, there were grumblings of ‘I really don’t want to do this,'” Mason said. “But just about all of them, by the time they get done with it are glad they did it and see it as a learning experience.”

That was how Kaleb Gullahorn viewed it. Gullahorn interviewed with Stephen Gutshaw, manager of The Athlete’s Foot. After he was done, Gullahorn related the experience.

“I learned to expect the unexpected,” he said.

Gutshaw was one of about 19 business men and women who participated in the event. Businesses and industries representing everything from insurance and real estate to trucking and steam plants were on hand to quiz the soon-to-be graduates.

“We have a pretty wide variety,” Mason said of the businesses represented.

She said the event was hosted a couple of years ago, but fell to the wayside last year because of other, more pressing, commitments.

“We just had a lot of other things going on last year, but after this year we plan to do it every year,” she said.