Right now, high school students are standing on the precipice of what’s next for them, whether it is college or immediately entering the workforce. However, it is not always easy to prepare for the next essential steps in the face of standing down basics such as final grades and graduation.
Luckily, these students have resources to get up to speed so they don’t miss out on developing essential skills that will help them create the life they desire beyond academia.
Students are preparing to become contributing members of society and to experience satisfaction and purpose in adult life. The key word here is “prepare,” and there are many components to this type of readiness-building. Key skills include:
- Engaging in hands-on practice
- Learning the art of self-presentation
- Building confidence
- Learning to stand out in competitive environments
The New Era: Remote ‘Everything’
According to Summer Lowery, Director of Client Relations for interview preparation tool, Big Interview, the skills today’s students need are even more important given the nature of many traditionally in-person functions going remote.
“Big Interview is a career and college readiness company that works with more than 500 organizations preparing candidates for upcoming interviews,” said Lowery. “We have always offered online resources and today it is even more relevant since students need to interact virtually while still impressing their audience.”
Big Interview was co-developed in 2012 by top interview coach and author Pamela Skillings after she realized the high demand of coaching in this area. Skillings, a certified career coach and adjunct professor at NYU, knows the importance of offering a 360-degree perspective on the hiring process and helping people “sell” themselves during all-important interviews.
"Interviewing skills are important life skills for everyone,” said Skillings. “In my many years of working with both job seekers and hiring managers, it has become clear that most people do not get training in how to present themselves in an interview. With my clients and Big Interview users, I have seen how a bit of knowledge about the interview process and some preparation and practice can dramatically improve prospects.”
“This training can help to level the playing field -- even if you don't have role models to help you or you're not naturally extroverted, you can learn to project confidence and present your best self in interviews,” Skillings added. “This can open up a whole world of new opportunities."
According to Lowery, there can be major gaps when kids do not have direct support. “At Big Interview, we work with thousands of students each year,” said Lowery. “We have seen that students who have preparedness support significantly reduce the time it takes to obtain gainful employment; the same can apply to high school students looking to be accepted to college in a certain time frame so they can make their plans.”
“In 2018, in fact, our research showed that students using Big Interview reduced the time it took to find a job from five months down to three. Again, this can also apply to high school students because the practice young adults receive is applicable to anyone working toward a goal that requires interviewing or articulately presenting oneself. I would also add that interviews matter today, more than ever before, since they are remote,” said Lowery. “Things like how to set up your camera, pay attention to body language, and be prepared to answer real-life example questions are important.”
Students in all grades are facing many unknowns. What is known at the start of 2021, however, is that each and every one of them aspires to have a future. Preparing for that future is essential.