‘Put on the spot:’ HHS seniors interview with business professionals

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Helena High School seniors could be seen sporting their best business attire the morning of Thursday, Nov. 9, and for good reason.

The HHS media center turned into a makeshift interview room where dozens of business professionals and recruiters were set up at tables delivering mock interviews to the seniors.

Every senior student that attended school the day of Nov. 9, got the chance to be interviewed and many came prepared with resumes and questions of their own as they will soon embark on life after high school.

“Members of the Helena Business Association, military and even Shelby County Board of Education members are here to assist with this,” HHS Senior Counselor Kristen Blanton said. “Each student will be interviewed for 10 minutes and it’s just practice for interviews. This is practice they’ll need and skills that they can hone in on when they do actually interview for jobs.”

Each senior student was assigned a number and once entering the media center, the student would go to a table with the assigned number to be interviewed by a business professional.

One of those conducting interviews was Jane B. Holmes Public Library Director Dan Dearing. Dearing said he has been assisting with the mock interviews for the last several years and helped give tips to the seniors.

“A lot of times a first interview is very intimidating so if you can get that out of the way in a controlled environment and friendly environment without having to just go live your first time at a company, you can feel a lot better about it your real first time,” Dearing said. “I tell them to always research the company that they’re going to be interviewing at and that they can alter their resume to fit the interview that they’re going to.”

HHS senior Dionte Tolbert said the interview was beneficial because it made him answer questions on the spot and he now knows what to expect in the future.

“It’s going to make me prepare well just knowing you are just put on the spot with most of the questions,” Tolbert said. “I’m looking to go to Troy for physical therapy or to become and athletic trainer.”