The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) offers mock interviews and professional development opportunities for high school students every spring. Through the annual AspHIRE mock interview days, students in grades 10-12 develop their skills through a practice interview with a local professional and several employability skill sessions. Students are given a “conference” style experience, networking with peers and professionals at a professional lunch and attending breakout sessions.   

IALR and partners offer AspHIRE in several locations in Virginia, including IALR, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center and Longwood University. 

2024 AspHIRE Recap 

Interviews and More 

Each student participates in a 20-minute mock job interview, gaining experience with questions they would be asked. Students also participate in work-readiness sessions on a variety of topics, including:  

  • Benefits and HR Basics  
  • LinkedIn, Personal Brand and Presentation 
  • Professionalism and Communication 
  • Teamwork and Problem-Solving 
  • Time Management and Work-Life Balance. 
"“Something that was beneficial for me was learning to ask questions at the end of my interview.”"
Chasity Robertson / Nottoway County
""The trip to Asphire was both informative and fun. It helped me widen my horizon about the working field and opened my eyes to new possibilities.""
King Catubig / Lunenburg County
"The AspHIRE mock interview day provides valuable experience to high school students across Southern Virginia, exposing them to important workplace skills and allowing them to experience an authentic interview process."
Jessie Vernon / IALR

IALR offers these mock interview days in partnership with industry and other higher education institutions, including the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center. The first event was held at IALR in 2019 for students in Danville and Pittsylvania County and was expanded to include additional partners in the years since then.    

Get Involved

IALR is looking for volunteers to participate as mock interviewers and/or session presenters. The minimum volunteer commitment is 1.5 hours, but business professionals and employers who would like to invest more time are welcome. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.  

Volunteer as an Interviewer Learn More