How Cristo Rey Students Used Interview Simulations to Prepare For Their Careers
Cristo Rey Dallas, a college prep high school, has a mandate to prepare their students for college and empower them as they take the next steps in their careers. One of the key challenges is to provide experiential learning in a classroom setting. Alexa Aragon, Director of Corporate Work Study, explained that, “sometimes the topics are boring and the kids don't really recognize how they can be helpful.” She needed a way to incorporate workplace interactions in a format the students would not only learn from, but also enjoy.
Cristo Rey Dallas
Alexa's primary goal was to help the students in her professionalism class become more comfortable with adult conversations that they would face after graduating from Cristo Rey. In particular, she was seeking a way to simulate job interviews. InStage practice simulations seemed to provide the ideal way to engage her students in a fun, new form of learning.
Once InStage was presented to the class, each student was able to practice an interview simulation individually before returning to the classroom to discuss and evaluate how to improve. The students reflected on what they learned from their practice, what went well, and what they would change. Afterwards, they then completed practice sessions on their own time and compared their results with their first session using the data report provided after each simulation.
The data reports highlighted to the students what filler words they were using, how fast they were talking, and they were able to identify what they needed to fix for their next interview. Across the board, students performed better in their second session as they felt more comfortable and became more confident through the practice.
In total, 120 senior students practiced job interviews using InStage simulations for two separate sessions. The students enjoyed this new form of practice and the life-like pressure of the simulation setting. Alexa said, “It was an awesome opportunity for our students to practice interview skills in a virtual reality setting. It's always a win for me when I can get kids excited about what we're doing. Whenever a student is having fun and learning, that's the best combo.”