To help with this, they host a Project Interview event each year and invite community-based companies to participate. Tim Silsbee, Bishop-Wisecarver Group’s Executive Director of Human Resources, joined this year’s event which took place in late May.

Q: What was your role in the Project Interview event?
TS: I provided feedback to the students on their resumes and did on the spot interviews and evaluations.

The students were rated on a 1 – 5 scale for: Appearance, Preparation, Self-Expression, Resume and Overall Impression. The students had to rate themselves as well.

Q: Tell us about some of the students you met.
TS: I was so incredibly impressed with this group of students! A number of them were going to be the first person in their family to graduate from high school or go to college. Some had overcome difficult situations to get this far and they shared amazing stories of perseverance and focus. One student had already enlisted in the US Navy. She was sharp, poised, confident and well prepared. It was amazing to see someone so young with a clear plan in front of her and the diligence to make it happen.

Q: What are the main benefits of these interviews for the students?
TS: They get real world experience of what an interview may be like. Several of them found it wasn’t as scary as they thought it would be. For students with powerful stories of perseverance, I encouraged them to work these into their interview comments. Also, it’s one thing to read about questions that might be asked in a job interview. But having to answer these questions on the spot, and hear yourself answering them, helps create a much stronger sense of preparation and confidence.

Q: As a volunteer interviewer, what did you gain?
TS: Two of the core values at BWG include being collaborative and cheerful and this event let me focus on both! I’ve already asked the chamber and school to invite me back next year as I want BWG to continue partnering with the community on such important programs. And I’m cheerful because it was fun and the exposure to such a large number of young people with ambition and drive was completely positive. There are so many stereotypes about millennials and this group blew all of those out of the water.