The following information refers to our typical in-person event. The 2021 Expo will take place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned for more information about mock interviews as part of the virtual Expo.
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.
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 - remind yourself the importance of first impressions!
- Get a good night’s sleep & eat a good breakfast!
- Brush your teeth
- Dress appropriately
- Bring a copy of your resume
- Give a firm handshake & wait to be asked to take a seat
- Maintain good posture
- Avoid fidgeting, adjusting your clothing, touching your face, etc.
- Make eye contact – but remember, it’s not a staring contest!
- Be polite & give your full attention to the interviewer
- Be confident and articulate in your answers
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 sign up for year-round volunteering options, or visit the Get Involved page for more information.
Learn more about volunteering at the Expo.
Thank you to the Portland HR Management Association and Southridge High School for producing this material.