How to Teach Interview Skills in High School
Good interview skills are crucial for every high school student to learn. Any job they apply for will involve some sort of interview process, so your students need to be prepared.
But teaching interview skills isn’t easy, especially when there aren’t many resources geared toward high school students.
That’s why we’ve collected lessons and activities to help you teach these skills to your students!
To teach interview skills in high school, you should follow these four steps:
- Introduce interview skills to your class
- Talk about why good interview skills matter
- Explore what good job interview skills look like
- End with a group project
We’ll start with an activity for introducing interview skills, then jump into the other ideas.
1. Introduce Interview Skills to Your Class
When teaching a soft skill like interviewing, it’s a great idea to start with an opening activity. Doing this introduces the new skill in an interactive and engaging way to really get students thinking.
This activity will involve you and a brave student acting out a short scenario in front of the class.
The student will play the part of the interviewer and you are a candidate for the position. Provide the student with a number of questions that a typical interview includes.
After the scenario, ask students to share their observations about what went well and what could have been improved.
As the interviewee, you shouldn’t have a perfect interview. Otherwise your students won’t have much to critique after the scenario is complete!
Oftentimes, high school students may not have a sense of direction in an interview. But if they have critiques for how the interview could have been improved, that means they have some ideas!
Reiterating this fact will help boost your students’ confidence when it comes to interviewing skills.
Encourage students to keep thinking about ways to improve the interview as you continue through the next few lessons as well.
2. Talk About Why Good Interview Skills Matter
After the initial class discussions, it’s time to get into the details and talk about why good interview skills are important for high school students to have!
Good interview skills will help your students earn any job they want, both in the near future and later in their lives.
In today’s competitive job market where many resumes can be similar a great interview will set your students apart.
By providing this context, you’ll get the attention of any student who’s ever thought about their future. That also means they are more likely to engage with and participate in your lessons.
Plus, this knowledge will ultimately help them down the road!
But how can you get the point across?
A great place to start is to ask about their thoughts.
By opening the floor to your students, you can lead a discussion of some great peer-to-peer insights.
Again, this reinforces that your students might know more about these skills than they think!
Once you feel the discussion has taken its course, wrap up the conversation with this bottom line point: the interview can make or break your dream job.
Talk about making an impact!
3. Explore What Good Job Interview Skills Look Like
Once your students understand the importance of good interview skills, it’s time to start the bulk of your lessons - what exactly are good job interview skills?
Some students may have a solid idea of what a good interview looks like. But others may have limited knowledge on what’s involved.
Either way, start with the basics.
Some key points include:
- Appropriate manners and body language
- Communication skills
- What professional attire to wear
- What to bring to an interview (resume, references, etc.)
- Questions an interviewer may ask
- Good questions to ask the interviewer
You can teach students about these points in a number of ways. Here are two ideas you could try:
Option 1: Lecture & Brainstorming
One way to start with interview skills is a lecture that gives an overview of each point above. Reference your introductory scenario to give examples of each point.
Then you could assign students to work individually on completing a worksheet or activity that reinforces what you covered during the lecture. (This could even be assigned as homework).
Option 2: Small Group Work & Lecture
Another option is to split students into groups and give each group a topic from the points above to research and report.
Then, circle back with a lecture to discuss everyone’s comments in context and fill in anything they may have missed about each skill topic.
Whichever option you choose (or if you combine the two), it’s key to have student involvement and not just lecture about the interview skills.
4. End with a Group Project
A group project is the perfect way to wrap up a unit on interview skills.
By working on a final project, your students can reflect on everything they have learned from lessons and activities.
One project idea is to have students break into groups and write their own interview scenarios.
Ask them to create two interviews - a good one and a bad one.
It’s important they create multiple scenarios so they can show they understand the differences between good and bad interviews.
You can track their proficiency with a rubric of expectations you complete as students act.
Choose specific pieces from your lessons to watch, like:
- Body language
- Professional dress
- Communication skills
They should consider those requirements in both the good and bad interviews to show both sides of each skill.
Depending on your syllabus, you can either have students work on the project in class or collaborate outside of school.
Once they have written the scenarios, you have two options - have students perform live in class or record the scenarios to present.
Either way, sharing the projects is a great way to wrap up talking about interview skills. It’s something fun to give a last bit of reinforcement of these skills!
Start Teaching Interview Skills in High School Today!
Now that you have some ideas to teach interview skills, what do you do next?
Business&ITCenter21 is a digital curriculum with a ton of content for teaching career readiness skills such as interviewing, customer service, career exploration, and more.
Your students will learn the foundational knowledge they need to succeed in any career path they choose.
The curriculum includes lesson plans, digital lessons, teacher presentations, automatically graded assessments, and hundreds of other resources for you and your students.
Learn more about what’s included in Business&ITCenter21 by checking out the library of topics!