Content edited and saved!

TRIO Students Practice Etiquette and Interviewing Skills at Luncheon

TRIO Students PhotoThe TRIO Student Support Services Program hopes to make future interviews and business luncheons less intimidating for its participants by providing them with the opportunity to practice their skills at a recent workshop.

“A lot of students today are not as prepared as they could be for an interview,” said Wain Davis, Director of TRIO Student Support Services. “It’s a very valuable skill for our students that they need to have before they graduate so they can compete in a competitive job market.”

Hosted at OCC, the workshop brought together 29 students from Frontier, Lincoln Trail, Olney Central and Wabash Valley colleges, which are served by TRIO SSS at Illinois Eastern Community Colleges.

The program included a presentation on interviewing and basic formal etiquette. Students then attended a business-style luncheon with 10 community guests.

“It gave them a chance to go through the interview process while making use of the information we gave them on table etiquette,” Davis added.

After lunch, students participated in speed interviews.

“The students had 30 to 35 seconds to introduce themselves to another student, who then asked them a question,” Davis said. “The student had to formulate an answer quickly. It teaches them how to think on their feet.”

Afterward, students had an opportunity to debrief and discuss the questions they found problematic.

Participants finished the day learning to compose thank you notes.

“Each student wrote a note to a guest they sat with at the luncheon. Writing thank you notes is becoming a lost art,” Davis said. “Sending a thank you note when no one else is doing it, can help you stand out in the pack. It might be the catalyst that gets you called back for another interview.”

Richard Marrero said the workshop provided valuable insights he will continue to utilize long after graduating from OCC.

“I thought I personally learned a lot sitting at the dinner table,” he said. “It was great being able to take what we learned in the presentation and put it to use. I knew table etiquette, but I didn’t know it in depth. It is something I will be able to use in the future. It was a great experience.”

The event is the third in a series of four workshops TRIO will present for participants during the academic year. Other programs have included a mini college fair and a financial aid completion day. The final workshop will focus on stress relief.

Davis is thrilled with the response from the most recent program.

“It was a good day and we had a lot of positive feedback,” Davis said. “We are already looking for ways to improve it next year.”

TRIO SSS is a 100 percent federally funded program, with a current funding level at $308,638. The program offers tutoring, academic and career advisement, study skills enhancement and special enrichment programs.

Find a problem? Send the issue to us. Thank you!