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Tech school instructors! Prepare students for hiring interviews

As educators, we spend most of our allotted training time making sure students understand presented material. We want them, of course, to pass their courses and/or get their degree or certificate. Among many other teaching responsibilities, we make presentations, we assign homework, we help with lab exercises, and we go over assignments if mistakes have been made.

One topic that goes largely overlooked, however, is related to what students will do once they complete our courses and get their degrees. In order to get a job, students must be able to relate what they have learned in your school to the people doing the hiring. Unfortunately, many – even older – students tend to struggle in this regard.

If you doubt this, take a moment in class and ask a student what they have learned from you. If they hesitate and/or have to think much about it, it should be taken as a signal that they need to get more prepared in order to interview for a CNC-related position. And you can help.

Be sure students can communicate intelligently about their accomplishments. While there is no need to brag – or sound arrogant – students should be able to show a quiet confidence in their new-found abilities. As an assignment, have them make an outline of bullet-points that summarize what they feel are the most important goals they have achieved – and see if you agree.

If you come from a manufacturing background (as many CNC instructors do), you should know the ins-and-outs of manufacturing companies. You know that there are some pretty tough-minded people in this industry – maybe as in any industry – that won’t have much patience for or interest in people who cannot concisely explain what they will be able to do for the company.

To me, motivation is a key component. People that are self-motivated and eager to do whatever it takes to get a job done are highly valued, even over more experienced people that are less interested. So make sure your students know how to show their enthusiasm for what they’ve learned – and help them show perspective employers that they are motivated.

Relate your own success and failure stories. If you’ve gleaned an insight into what it takes to impress an employer, by all means relate it to your students. You can even conduct practice interviews. Take the role of an employer and have students interview for a job.

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