Forsyth And Douglas County High Schoolers Complete Over 8,000 Mock Interviews For Career Readiness

Students across 12 high schools in Forsyth and Douglas County completed over 8,000 mock interviews throughout this school year using Talk Hiring, an automated mock interview tool. Despite visitor restrictions due to the pandemic, students were able to practice their interviewing skills with personalized, data-driven feedback.

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“Interview practice is an essential part of our high school curriculum that helps our graduates enter the world college and career ready,” said Mandy Johnson, Director of College and Career Programs in Douglas County. “With all of the challenges teachers and students faced this year, we had to get creative to figure out how to continue our tradition of organizing mock interviews for students with leaders in the local business community.”

Neighboring Douglas and Forsyth counties both adopted Talk Hiring in the 2020 school year. In both counties, a majority of high school students opt into career-oriented pathways in subjects like healthcare, technology, and hospitality.

“Students in Forsyth County completed more than twice as many mock interviews this school year than the year before,” said Valery Lowe, Director of College and Career Development at Forsyth County Schools. “We look forward to bringing volunteers from the business community back into schools, but the reality is that most job interviews start with a phone or video screen. Students and teachers have really embraced this new technology that allows us to scale a very real world experience.”

The Georgia Department of Education’s Employability Skills Task Force has placed a priority on developing the “soft skills” that are in highest demand from employers. To develop these skills, districts have implemented a range of programs including mock interviews, ethics trainings, soft skill seminars, and leadership trainings.

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“Some employers call it work ethic; some call it soft skills, and others call it employability skills. Regardless of the term used, employers have a need for young workers with these skills,” said Barbara M. Wall, Director of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education at the Georgia Department of Education.

Talk Hiring offers realistic yet automated mock interviews that students can complete on their own time over video or audio-only. After each interview, students receive a recording and an overall rating of their performance in addition to metrics for each smaller dimension like pace, volume, and use of filler words. Teachers and administrators can see students’ progress via a qualitative and quantitative dashboard.

“Talk Hiring has given me the opportunity to comfortably and efficiently practice my job interview skills early on,” said Tanvi, a senior at South Forsyth High School. “As an individual who gets nervous while interviewing, this platform has given me extraordinary advice on how to effectively convey my story and be more confident in my answers. Now, I finally feel prepared to communicate my fullest potential in future job interviews.”

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