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Seniors practice job interviews

Staff writer

When Landon Roberts makes his return Monday to Kansas FFA’s employability skills competition, he is confident he can be one of the state’s best.

“I’m way more confident and I can worry about other things now with my interview,” he said. “It’s how I answer questions. I’m working on the length and what I say for each question, not rambling on and saying too little or too much.”

Roberts, a senior at Hillsboro High School, placed second in Kansas during the state’s virtual competition, as well as second in last year’s district competition. Competitors fill out resumes, cover letters, and applications, go through an interview process, and write follow-up letters.

Centre senior Cailey Barney is focusing on a mock job as a sheep breeder in Abilene. Her passion and experience showing animals were important factors in her decision.

“It’s something I can relate to,” she said. “I had a lot of experience I could put on my resume and a lot of references I could use. It looks really good to have all that background.”

It’s different from other types of competitions, like sports, but it still helps satisfy Roberts’ ambitious nature.

“It ties two things together,” he said. “I’m a very competitive person and it’s a competition, so I like being competitive in that sense. At the same time, it gets me ready for real life when I’m going to have to go off and interview for jobs.”

Barney also is adjusting her expectations after placing in the top 10 at last year’s district competition, despite being in her first time.

Barney this year is looking to make it to the state competition, which means she has to place in the top three at the district level

“That always is the goal,” she said. “I was so close last year. This year I have a lot more experience and stuff I can put on my resume, so hopefully it will catch the eye of judges more.”

Details like maintaining strong eye contact and keeping from rambling are important for virtual and in-person interviews, but there are differences with being online, Roberts said.

“When you’re on virtual, it adds a different aspect to introduce yourself and break the ice a different way by asking them how their days are going, things like that. Instead of just shaking their hands, saying, ‘nice to meet you,’ and saying your name, it adds a different aspect.”

Roberts has participated every year since he was a freshman, but he said it felt different as a junior than in previous years.

“I’m going to have to do this later on in my life,” he said. “I guess I took the FFA one more seriously than in the past. It actually helped me because I was more serious and focused in on the interview; I ended up doing way better than I normally did.”

“I was pretty nervous last year going into it,” she said. “I didn’t really know what to expect but once I got in there it wasn’t nearly as bad as what I thought. It’s more of being a good talker and backing yourself up.”

Last modified Nov. 18, 2020

 

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