TSTC housing director Jenna Peterson (left) holds a practice interview for a Marshall campus student. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)

(MARSHALL, Texas) – The Career Services department at Texas State Technical College’s Marshall campus holds regular interview practicums for any TSTC students who are willing to participate. On Sept. 27, 32 students attended the fall practicum.

“We hold an interview practicum every semester so that the students can get the experience of interviewing for the first time,” Career Services coordinator Jena Corley said. “Some of them have never interviewed, and it gives them a chance to work out the jitters, practice their answers and practice their professionalism.”

The majority of students who attended the practicum were from the Automation and Controls Technology, Diesel Equipment Technology and Industrial Systems programs. Students from the Cybersecurity program and the Drafting and Design program were also in attendance, though in smaller numbers.

Each participating student was interviewed by three separate volunteers who each gave them scores based on various professionalism factors, including verbal and nonverbal communication, employability, and technical skills.

Those who volunteer to interview the students are typically the teachers and staff of TSTC. However, Joe Razza, regional recruiter at Crown Lift Trucks, has volunteered for practicums on various TSTC campuses for over six years.

“We find value in (the practicums) because it helps get the student off of the defense when it comes to the interview process and lets them know how to endorse their skills,” Razza said. “By donating a little bit of time and giving them feedback, we’ve seen better success when they interview with the company.”

Automation and Controls student Sawyer McDaniel attended the interview practicum to help him be well prepared for his future job interviews.

“Just from doing two interviews, I’ve already learned how to carry myself better and to be more enthusiastic,” McDaniel said. “I think this is very helpful for everybody, including myself.”

Corley recommends that all students attend at least one interview practicum to help them sharpen their skills.

“If your first point of contact is that first job interview, you may freeze up and not realize how nerve-wracking that situation is,” Corley said. “This is the perfect opportunity for students to practice before they ever have to put their jobs on the line.”

Marshall campus’s Career Services department will hold another interview practicum next spring.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.

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