Nicole Waldron presenting her Senior Exit Interview. (Photo: Jon Truong/BHHS Journalism)
With graduation quickly approaching, seniors are checking off the last few requirements needed to make their way across the stage and receive their diplomas. The most crucial requirement to be completed is the Senior Culminating Project, also known as the Senior Exit Interview. Senior Exit Interviews are being held on March 29 and 30. Seniors are required to sign up for a time slot in the career center with Mrs. Jones or else she will sign you up for a time. The interview is done in front of a panel, including a teacher, a community member, and a student advocate. Advocates are to be recruited by the student and should be someone who can be familiar face. Advocates can promote the student within the panel. Advocates must be over 21 and cannot be a family member. An advocate could be a coach, an employer, a friends parent, neighbor, etc. The Senior Exit Interview usually lasts no longer than 20 minutes and consists of two parts.
First, students must be able to explain a little about themselves and their high school experience to the panel. Students need to provide the panel with an up-to-date résumé, and should address how their education has contributed to the person they are today, how they have given back to the community, extracurricular activities participated in, and future career goals. Students are expected to have some form of a visual aid to represent their high school journey and future career aspirations. Some examples include a powerpoint/poster board, musical instruments, sports equipment, or other creative objects. Students should dress in professional attire which for boys could be slacks and a nice shirt and for girls could be a dress. When you enter the room, greet the panel, introduce yourself, and shake their hands. If you aren’t keen at memorizing things, have notecards to keep yourself on track.
After that, students will be asked a series of questions by the panel. Students should prepare themselves by practicing the pre-identified questions. To make a lasting impression, make sure to maintain eye contact, avoid fidgeting and saying filler words such as “like” or “um” and answer the question clearly. When asked about what high school has taught you, a quality answer could include how you’ve learned “to plan & establish routines to accomplish goals, seek assistance when necessary; versatility and willingness to adjust to adversity.” The pre-identified questions that students should expect are:
1. What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?
2. How are you different four years later than you were as a freshman?
3. Describe one of your most challenging classes or assignments that you faced in high school.
4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
5. Reflecting upon your community outreach, what did you learn about yourself and your role within your community?
6. What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
7. Discuss a person who has had a significant influence on you and please elaborate why.
8. Pick an experience from your own life and explain how it has influenced your development.
9. This year, how many days of school did you miss? How many days were you late? Why? What can you do to improve?
10. Would you rather be in charge of a project or work as part of the team? Why?
11. How do you define success?
12. Describe your most meaningful achievement.
13. What was your favorite part of high school, and do you see a relationship with that positive experience and your career path?
14. Describe your ideal job.
15. What would your teachers say about you?
Students will be scored using a Standard Scoring Rubric and are required to pass both the résumé and interview. If a student were to fail only one section they will be able to redo that section, but if they fail both sections, they will be required to redo the entire Exit Interview. However, this is a state requirement in order to graduate, so this is not something you can skip and do later. So make sure to find an advocate, sign up for a time in the career center with Mrs. Jones, put in some time, effort, and practice so you’ll be one step closer to graduating. Finally, make sure to speak with Mrs. Jones if any questions arise.
By Jon Truong