Job Interview Activities for Middle 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.

Use these activities to help your middle school students gain valuable experience with interviewing skills they can use in the future. Designed to be used with student partners, each activity is interactive and practical to get students engaged.

Job Interview Activities

Engaging your middle school students in job interview activities can help them prepare in advance for entering the world of work. These scenario-based activities require students to partner and engage in practical application exercises that help them prepare for the future. Some advanced preparation is required, as you will need to create several scenarios for your students to use, as well as search the internet for job descriptions and interview questions. Reflection is an important component of each activity, so be sure to provide adequate time for students to engage in this process.

Colorful Character Traits

In this activity, you will help students visualize the character traits employers are looking for in their new hires. Begin by brainstorming with the class what employers are seeking by asking a question like, ''What kind of person do you think employers want to hire?'' or ''What makes a good employee?'' and writing the student responses on the board. Some answers will hopefully include dependability, creativity, or integrity. Afterwards, elect three to five of the traits you've listed and assign a color to each one.

Now, partner students and provide them with scenarios that describe potential employees who have shown up for an interview. Have students underline or highlight the experience of the interviewees based on the traits you've selected. For example, if one of the employee descriptions states that they worked at one company for ten years, then ''dependability'' may be a trait this person shows and could be underlined or highlighted accordingly. In the scenarios, multiple traits may be found, so students must pay close attention to the details to be sure they find all the character gems within.

  • Materials: brainstorming questions, coloring/highlighting materials, interviewee scenarios

Next Question, Please

In this activity, you will help students craft succinct answers to some commonly used interview questions. Prior to this activity, you will need to create various interviewee scenarios that share details such as previous work experience and education background as well as a description of the job for which they are interviewing (4 - 6 different interviewees and scenarios should be adequate). Then, compile a list of ten common questions. Online lists of potential interview questions abound. From your research, find questions that students can relate to based on the scenarios you've provided them.

Begin this activity by providing each student with a interviewee profile. As students will be acting as though they are the interviewee during this activity, they should know their bio well, so provide some time for them to study the information.

Then, partner each student with a classmate who has a different interviewee profile and provide the pair with the list of interview questions. Provide time for a brief run-through. Ask students to keep their answers succinct during their practice session; between thirty seconds to one minute. The goal is to cull down their answers to provide only the most salient highlights, but not to speed through their answers by speaking too quickly.

Lastly, partner students with a new classmate. Now it's time for the rapid-fire interview process to begin. Provide a time limit for the interview, such as ten minutes. Students should have a timer so they can stay within the time constraints. Provide time for students to give feedback to their partners. Additionally, give them a chance to write a reflective action plan to improve their interviewing skills. As an extension, you may want to conduct the activity again with instructions to implement their action plan and note improvements.

  • Materials: list of ten interview questions, interviewee scenarios

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