Mock interviews offer real-world prep to special education students

The mock interview day aims to give students with disabilities an opportunity to practice for real-world professional experiences. School staff worked with students beforehand on their résumés, cover letters, professional dress and interview skills. The mock interviews were held at Glynn Academy, Brunswick High School, Morningstar, Glynn Learning Center, Coastal Academy and Golden Isles College and Career Academy.

“This is my absolute most favorite day of the school year,” said Kristine Hickson, a specially designed instructional coach for Glynn County Schools. “I love to see the students come to school all dressed up, confident and ready to ace their interview. This is always such a positive experience for everyone.”

Hickson, who coordinates the mock interview day, said her role as a special designed instructional coach is to support special education teachers at the local high schools and to help students with disabilities transition for life after high school.

More than 20 school system administrators volunteered to fill interview slots on the mock interview day, and they met with approximately 90 students who participated in interviews.

Each interview was scheduled for 15 minutes, and the interviewers spent the first 10 minutes interviewing the student and reviewing their resume/cover letter and used the remaining five minutes to review with the student.

Hickson said the students left their interviews beaming with pride, because they were able to tackle their nerves. They were also proud to have created a résumé and cover letter.

“They start to see why they need to participate in volunteer activities to give them more experience to add to their resume,” Hickson said. “They learn to find more positive things to say about themselves, while writing about their strengths.”

This spring, students will have an opportunity to sign up for interview with a person who works in their field of interest.

“The goal of the spring interviews is to provide students with the opportunity to ask a professional specific questions to learn more about their job of interest,” Hickson said. “I also hope it helps to provide some students with a mentor in their field of interest to help guide them in the right direction.”