IALR, Longwood University and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) collaborated to offer AspHIRE Mock Interview Day 2023 to 202 high school students this Spring. Tenth through 12th graders from six school systems participated in this event to hone their interview and employability skills with local professionals. Students came from Danville City, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Lunenburg, Nottoway Pittsylvania, and Prince Edward Counties.
“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,” said Jessie Vernon, IALR Advanced Learning Program Manager.
The event was organized by IALR and held on April 7 and 26 at IALR, on March 29 at SVHEC, and on April 25 at Longwood University. Local employers led work-readiness sessions and served as mock interviewers. To make this event possible, 66 volunteers provided their time, serving as interviewers and providing employability skill sessions.
“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
“Something that was beneficial for me was learning to ask questions at the end of my interview.” – Chasity Robertson, Nottoway County.
AspHIRE Mock Interview Day is designed to give students an opportunity to build 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. The latter included topics on Benefits and HR Basics, LinkedIn and Indeed, Personal Brand and Presentation, Professionalism and Communication, Teamwork and Problem Solving, and Time Management and Work-Life Balance.
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.