Norwalk High School senior Promise Agbo credits her acceptance to Columbia University on her strong interview where she used tools and strategies she learned preparing for Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s second annual mock interview.

“The mock interview practices helped me to secure a spot in Columbia,” Agbo, 17, said. “I still have more college interviews, but I wouldn’t have been as prepared if I didn’t participate in the mock interview.”

Agbo was one of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified high school students who attended workshops after school over two months, practicing common interview questions, perfecting their resumes and learning proper interview etiquette, including wearing business attire and giving a firm handshake. The students then sat down in front of industry professionals from across Norwalk for a mock interview on Feb. 22.

“I wanted to get better at answering interview questions and highlighting my strengths,” Agbo said. “Even though it was a mock interview, I feel like I’m prepared to do actual interviews.”

Students were able to ask their employer questions after being interviewed for 15 minutes, and then gathered in a debriefing room to share their experiences and write thank-you notes.

“We wanted to give students an experience that will help them prepare for a necessary skill that will ultimately determine if they will reach their dream job,” NLMUSD College and Career Pathways Director Joanne Jung said. “Our students now know what to expect when they go into an actual interview.”

The Norwalk Education Alliance, a partnership with Norwalk-La Mirada Unified, City of Norwalk, Cerritos College, Southeast Los Angeles Workforce Development Board, Santa Fe High School, Long Beach Small Business Development Center, Little Lake City School District, and the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, developed the mock interview for high school students to practice articulating their strengths and presenting themselves in front of employers for jobs and internships, as well as university representatives for college entry.

NLMUSD Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian, Board of Education members, Cerritos College administrators, City of Norwalk Mayor Mike Mendez and business owners participated as some of the interviewers.

“Thank you to all of our community partners for strengthening our students’ ability to portray their personal strengths and ideas for their future career,” Danielian said. “Our District is focused on providing our students with real world experiences that will benefit their futures.”


031317_NLMUSD_MOCKINTERVIEW1: Norwalk High School Senior Promise Agbo receives critiques from her interviewer on how to have stronger answers during Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s second annual mock interview.

031317_NLMUSD_MOCKINTERVIEW2: Norwalk-La Mirada Unified students wrote thank-you notes to their interviewers during the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s second annual mock interview.