About 150 HR professionals offer mock job interviews for high school students at the annual NW Youth Careers 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 20-minute Career Talks.
- How to sign up: 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. We can accept drop-ins as space permits, but please sign up in advance. (More than 1,000 students are expected to seek interviews, which requires careful planning to recruit volunteers and minimize wait times.)
- Where mock interviews take place: In the meeting rooms outside the Expo Hall.
- About resumes: Please encourage students to bring resumes to their interviews; those without may be directed toward the Career Talks.
- What students receive: Students receive a Certificate of Completion for completing a mock job interview.
Career Talks: Student Information
- How to sign up: Students are welcome to "drop in" as space permits, with priority given to schools that have signed up for mock interviews.
- Where they take place: Career Talks take place in the meeting rooms near the mock interview area, outside the Expo Hall.
- What students receive: Students receive a Certificate of Completion for attending a Career Talk.
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.
Thank you to the Portland HR Management Association for supporting this event!
Tips for Conducting a Mock 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.
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.
Learn more about volunteering here.
Thank you to the Portland HR Management Association and Southridge High School for producing this material.