Interview Week continues Tuesday, Thursday

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Graphic Illustration by Blake Loria

Interview Week, part of Canyon ISD’s Competitive Edge Week, will continue through Thursday, April 22. Beginning in 2019, this year is the first year that Interview Week will be held virtually. The administration team worked with seniors to schedule an interview with a professional from the community. “This is a week dedicated to giving students across CISD the opportunity to think about their future through the lens of the professional community,” administrative assistant Jessica Ray said.

Seniors and select juniors will participate in virtual Interview Week, hosted by Canyon High, today, Tuesday and Thursday in the learning commons.

Introduced by Canyon ISD in 2019, Interview Week will take place virtually for the first time because of the district’s COVID-19 protocols. Members of the administrative team paired students with community professionals.

“Canyon ISD calls this week Competitive Edge Week,” associate principal Brandi Sanderson said. “This is a week dedicated to giving students across CISD the opportunity to think about their future through the lens of the professional community. Canyon ISD has students work on their soft skills: greetings, handshakes, how to speak to interviewers and how to present themselves in the local business arena. People from all over the community and other businesses interview the students.”

All interviews this year will take place either through a Google Meet or Zoom; no interviewers will be on campus.

“Competitive Edge Week prepares students at all grade levels for college, career or military readiness,” administrative assistant Jessica Ray said. “Every senior at Canyon High School has the opportunity to have a mock interview with a professional in the area and receive feedback in a manner that is practice without penalty.”

I believe this year’s Interview Week will prepare students for a world that didn’t exist a year ago.”

— Jessica Ray, administrative assistant

The purpose of Interview Week is to conduct interviews, strengthen email skills and give students feedback as they consider their future careers.

“We make personal contact with people and get them signed up to conduct practice interviews,” Sanderson said. “We want every senior to have a practice interview before they leave Canyon so that they know what to expect when they are interviewing for jobs in the future.”

Canyon ISD started Interview Week three years ago to provide students an opportunity to know what to expect when doing interviews for jobs and other activities.

“This is the third year for this activity, and the businesses have come to expect it and look forward to it,” Sanderson said. “We want every senior to have a practice interview before they leave Canyon ISD so they know what to expect when they are interviewing for jobs in the future.”

Ray said, because of the pandemic, many businesses are requiring virtual interviews, and this week will help students prepare for the virtual-work world, Ray said.

“With the COVID pandemic, many businesses continue to have their employees work from home, and students need experience being professional in a virtual environment,” Ray said. “I believe this year’s Interview Week will prepare students for a world that didn’t exist a year ago. As times change, we have to make sure students are prepared for a-post secondary experience.”

Canyon Intermediate School principal Tricia Cook will be interviewing students for her third year. Cook said she jumped at the chance to help seniors prepare for future interviews.

The interview questions will be centered around experience, interests, strengths and areas of growth.”

— Tricia Cook, Canyon Intermediate principal

“Interview Week gives students the opportunity to practice without penalty,” Cook said. “It allows them to sit face-to-face with a professional and practice the process of an interview and receive feedback to use in their future interview opportunities.”

Cook said her advice would consist of telling students to relax, be themselves, listen to the advice of their teachers and have two or three questions prepared to ask their interviewer.

“The interview questions will be centered around experience, interests, strengths and areas of growth,” Cook said. “If they are an education major, I may add a few questions since that is my area of experience.”

Although in-person interviews may offer the physical aspect, virtual interviews still help students practice these skills so they can apply them to different areas of their lives.

“When we had in-person interviews, there was a welcoming committee that brought the interviewers up to the Learning Commons,” Sanderson said. “We had drinks and snacks for the interviewers. This year, there is none of that. In-person [interviews] give a better perspective of the body language and the true experience. However, any practice in this situation is going to be beneficial to students.”