NEW PARIS — National Trail’s Miami Valley Career Technical Center (MVCTC) FFA Chapter held its annual Job Interview Contest on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The event allowed chapter members to practice interview skills and compete in their grade levels.
Chapter Advisor Eric Kennel created the contest when he came on board at National Trail five years ago. According to Advisor Carmen Kennel, the contest was started because Ohio FFA offers a job interview Career Development Event. At the contest, each chapter can only bring one participant per each of the five divisions.
“Eric and I feel students practicing a job interview is a skill they need to be more successful in life after high school, no matter what the student plans to do. Therefore, we do not want to limit the opportunity to only five students,” Carmen Kennel said. “We feel this Career Development Event is important for all students to participate in so they get the experience to be successful after high school. What I like best about the event is seeing the upperclassmen gain confidence to be more successful when they come for their interview.”
Students are scored using the rubrics Ohio FFA uses in the district and state Career Development Events. The first place student in each of the five divisions will represent the chapter at the district job interview contest, which will be held at Versailles on Nov. 7.
Students are required to wear FFA official dress for the event. Each student have a five-minute interview. If there is more than one judge for a division each judge in the division will have their top two students come back for a second interview with all of the judges from that division in order to find the best interviewer from that division. Students are scored on their interview, cover letter, resume with references, and completion of a job application.
Kennel looked for judges who have experience with hiring individuals to give the students the best simulation possible for a job interview. Judges included Mindy Ward and Dawn Lewis from Cargill, Tyler Wilson from Bane Welker, Stan Wright from Nutrium, Aaron Ryan from Ryan’s Flooring, Danielle Baumer and Denver Norris from HarvestLand, and Jeff Barnes, a soil conservationalist with the USDA.
Cindy Lee and Heather Norton evaluated the students’ cover letters, resume, and references.
“This contest has taught me the general of job interviews. I’ve learned you have to be professional about it, rather than personal, but you still have to show them who you are. You have to know what your strength and weaknesses are, so you can provide them with the best information possible,” FFA Chapter President Rachael Kimball said. “I like that the contest teaches us real life skills. You will use this throughout your whole life, so by getting this experience in high school, it will teach you to be more professional and to fully use your growth in FFA to find a good job.”
Hannah Lee earned first place in Division One. Emma DeCan won first place in Division Two. Abi Rodefer won first place in Division Three. Rachael Kimball earned first place in Division Four. Kiara Carrell won first Place in Division Five. These student will compete at the district interview contest in November.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH