Job Interview Activities for High School Students

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Engaging your high school students in job interview activities can help them feel more prepared for the world of work. In these activities, students will practice the essential skills necessary when faced with unique interviewing situations.

Job Interview Activities

These job interview activities will help you guide your high school students through the process of reframing negative work experiences, engaging in best practices, and facing an interview panel. As your students approach their entrance into the work world, they must hone in on the intricacies of the interviewing process. Each activity is designed to be used with student partners or teams in an interactive fashion. Additionally, a reflection portion will help students to hold onto their new knowledge and apply it in the future.

Spin It!

In this activity, you will guide your students through the process of reframing negative events. Inevitably part of the interviewing process, there will be times when potential employees are asked difficult questions that require some creativity in responding. For example, when asked how well they work on a team, an interviewee may need to reframe the conflict they faced with teammates by highlighting the positives. Be sure to emphasize that this activity does not ask students to lie; that is never a good thing. Rather, they should cull through a negative experience looking for the lesson learned or personal growth that was part of it.

To start, provide students with at least one example to discuss as a class as well as a few brief scenarios to brainstorm with a partner or team. Provide them with a list of guiding questions, such as:

  • What lessons might the interviewee have learned from this experience?
  • How did they grow as a person or improve as an employee as a result of this experience?
  • What might they do differently if faced with a similar situation in the future?

Next, have each students brainstorm a couple of difficulties they've faced in school or work. Then, provide time for them to reframe these events in positive terms. Once they are ready, partner students and have them ask interview questions that require them to share one of their negative experiences. Provide adequate time for partners to provide feedback to one another. Additionally, a reflective question or two can help solidify student learning.

  • Materials: reframing example, scenarios, list of guiding questions, feedback form and reflective question (optional)

Interview Disaster

In this activity, you will guide students through a hands-on role play showing some of the common errors and stellar successes of the interview process. Begin by providing student teams with a list of interview ''dos and don'ts'', which you can easily find with a quick internet search. Ask that students study the list for a few minutes. Then, provide adequate time for teams to brainstorm a skit-style scenario in which they break as many of the rules as possible.

Now, give the teams an opportunity to write and practice their role play skit. For presentation, you can either have students share their skit with the entire class or, if short on time, share it with one other team. For audience participation, you can have each student highlight the list of 'don'ts' as they encounter them in the skit.

After the disaster skits are complete, have the teams brainstorm, plan, and practice how to turn the interview around so they do everything right. Again, provide time for presentation with either a whole class or team-to-team format. Provide time for students to write a reflective paragraph about what they learned through the process of bringing interview 'dos and don'ts' to life.

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