Mock Interviews: Students

About 150 HR professionals offer mock job interviews for high school students at the Expo. These volunteers offer positive, constructive feedback that will help students for their next “real” interview for a job or college admission. Volunteers also hold 25-minute Career Talks.

Participating in Mock Interviews & Career Talks:

  • Mock Interviews: Educators may request one-one-one mock interviews for students when registering your school for the Expo, or you may contact our Expo Event Coordinator for more information.
  • More than 1,000 students are expected to seek interviews, which requires careful planning to recruit volunteers and minimize wait times. (We encourage students to bring resumes to their interviews; those without may be directed toward the Career Talks.)
  • Career Talks: The Career Talks will take place near the mock interview area. Students are welcome to "drop in" as space permits, with priority given to schools that have signed up for mock interviews.
  • Students receive Certificates of Completion for both.

Common Interview Questions

  • Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
  • What are your goals in the next 2-3 years, and how do you plan to achieve them?
  • What do you consider to be your strengths, and why?
  • Describe a time when you faced a challenge at school and how you handled it.
  • Why should I hire you?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

Interview Tips for Students

  • Make sure you’re at your best for the interview. Get a good night’s sleep, eat a good breakfast and brush your teeth.
  • Keep in mind the importance of a first impression. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately.
  • Bring a copy of your resume.
  • Use your best business manners. Give a firm handshake and wait to be asked to take a seat. Once you’re seated, sit up straight and try not to fidget or wiggle. Avoid: fidgeting, adjusting your clothing, touching your face, etc.
  • Make lots of eye contact to convey honesty and confidence – but remember, it’s not a staring contest!
  • Exude professionalism. Pay attention to the interviewer and be self-confident, polite and articulate.
  • Download the Job Interviewing Packet from our expert partners at PHRMA.


Mock Interviews: Volunteers

Volunteering After the Expo

PWA also works year-round to recruit HR volunteers and facilitate mock interviews and resume workshops at Portland-area high schools, working in close partnership with the Portland Human Resource Management Association. HR professionals, please contact us if you'd like to learn more about year-round volunteering options.

Tips for Conducting Practice Interview

  • Interview students for about 7-8 minutes. When the interview is complete, evaluate the student and share feedback.
  • Be friendly. Ask challenging questions. Listen carefully. Give students feedback that will encourage them and help them do better in future interviews. Emphasize the positive: Begin and end your evaluation with positive feedback, and gently discuss areas needing improvement.
  • Arrive on time, dress professionally and have fun with students as they practice their interviewing skills.


Thank you to the Portland HR Management Association and Southridge High School for producing this material.

2019 Schedule

Mock Interviews

  • 9 am to 1:30 pm. (Each interview takes approx. 15 min)
    One-on-one feedback from a caring HR volunteer.

Career Talks*

  • "How to Ace Your Job Interview"  (9:30 am, 11 am, 12:30 pm).
    What employers ask, how to prepare for an interview, how to follow up.
  • "How To Land A Summer Job"  (10 am, 11:30 am, 1 pm).
    Advice about resumes, networking and interviewing.
  • "Build an Outstanding Resume"  (10:30 am, noon).
    Advice about presenting your best self with an eye-catching, professional resume.
  • "Uncover Hidden, High-Paying Jobs" (10 am, noon). Presented by Worksource.
  • "Tech Careers: Q&A with the Pros" (10:30 am, 11:30 am).


*Subject to change