MD continues senior interview day tradition


Rachel Montoya

INTERMEDIATE INTERVIEWS: In order to prepare seniors for both college and career interviews, Mater Dei hosts Senior Interview Day each year. Parents and volunteers conduct mock interviews so students can develop real skills.

Seniors face many daunting challenges in the midst of college application season, but teachers, staff, and counselors at Mater Dei aim to give seniors all of the tools necessary to succeed in college, the workforce, or other future plans. Senior interview day is a yearly tradition that gives seniors the opportunity to experience what it’s like to interview for a job and prepare skills that are necessary for college and beyond.

On Oct. 6-7 of this year, all senior students participated in mock interviews with parent volunteers during their English block. Prior to the event, seniors spent their English classes preparing their resume, going over dress code, and discussing possible questions that their interviewer could use. Interviewers were instructed to remain on the topic of the questions as much as possible, though they were given the ability to ask questions related to specific experiences listed on the student’s resume as well.

Senior Lucia Howald was grateful to receive feedback after her experience and recalls her interviewer’s advice regarding her resume.

“If you can’t really explain why [an activity is] important to you, then it shouldn’t be on your resume,” Howald said. ”The interviewers can ask you any questions [about it], and if you don’t know what you’re talking about, it sounds like it’s not really a valid experience.”

After the interview, the parent volunteers give verbal feedback regarding the student’s performance, in addition to filling out a written rubric and evaluation.

While many students have experienced interviews before, senior interview day gives them the opportunity to practice a more professional type of interview and receive constructive feedback.

“I was hoping to get an actual interview simulation out of the experience, because I’ve never done a [conventional] interview like that,” Howald said. “I was really excited to see what interviewing was all about and how it felt to sit down with somebody one-on-one and have to answer questions about yourself and show them your personality.”

Senior Hubert Tran also participated in the interview and found the experience beneficial. The interviews gave him, as well as other students, the opportunity to develop and practice conversational skills in a professional setting.

“I definitely feel a lot more confident because I was able to form conversations with my interviewers,” Tran said.

Counselor Sasha Lo explains the importance of the experience overall and the goal she and the rest of the counseling team strive for when putting together this event.

“I think it’s a valuable experience, whether a student has already [been] interviewed several times and is working, or has never done this before,” Lo said. “My hope is that you learn how to present yourself, reflect on your strengths and areas of improvement, share about your accomplishments, consider professional attire, and start a resume that can be used for college applications or a future job application.”

As seniors continue to fill out college applications, write admissions essays, or consider their future career paths, they may have many difficult decisions ahead. The skill of interviewing is just one tool that Mater Dei helps students obtain so that they feel better prepared to go into the world and pursue their goals, no matter what they are.

“It’s okay to not know what you want to do in life yet,” Lo said. “Remember that you’re a human BE-ing not human DO-ing. It’s a process to discover what you like, what’s meaningful to you, and what will help the world. Sometimes those change for people too. The path is usually non-linear and there are many ways to get to a destination. Enjoy the journey, the people, and the experiences!”