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Lodi Unified School District students get job-hunting tips at mock interviews

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Don Smith, retired principal from Lodi Unified School District

“Make sure you get into the field you want, and not just McDonald’s.”

Yvette Maragliano, owner of Students Organized for Success in Lodi

“The key thing is the ability to communicate well, making eye contact and having confidence when speaking.”

Kristen Hatch, teacher at Rio Valley Charter School

“Be positive, be polite. Sometimes too honest is not always best. I think people practice the strengths and weaknesses question, but can get too relaxed about their weaknesses in the interview. Stick to the plan of what your weakness really is so you won’t leave yourself vulnerable.”

Donna Swearengin, retired teacher from Clements, works part-time teaching floral design at San Joaquin Delta College

“Be well-prepared. Know what job you want and what you need to do and know to get there.”

Karry Andrews, retired banker from Bank of America

“Have a firm handshake; that’s one of my pet peeves. Speak loudly and be poised.”

Leo Volkert, retired, former owner of Primo-Clean in Lodi

“The biggest thing I look for is people with motivation to work, who have experience in the task and are able to work well with others. I look for people who have proper attire, attentiveness and timeliness.”

Gail Brodie, retired teacher from Stockton Unified School District

“I look for responsibility, punctuality, personal skills and whether you can rely on them to do the job.”

Pam Scott, retired teacher from Woodbridge and Millswood Middle Schools

“I encourage people to be firm with their handshake. That’s the first impression that you give a person. In the interview, you also need to be really specific in your answers and be able to verbalize what you can do. Practice is invaluable.”

Ron Swearengin, retired high school teacher from Lodi Unified School District

“Having that dream is important — having that desire that motivates you to pursue a career. If you aren’t motivated, you’re going to get sidetracked too easily.”

Frances Richardson, Business Education Alliance coordinator at the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce

“Have three to four examples of work experience, volunteering or internships, and try to relate them to the questions. For students, try to get your foot in the door early. Do job shadowing or internships now to make sure you will like the field you’re entering. It’s better to find out now than after going to school four years for it.”

Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 12:00 am

Hundreds of students from Lodi Unified School District met at Lincoln Technical Academy on Thursday for mock interviews with more than 100 members of the community, who rated their performance and gave tips on how they could improve.

While the experience is important for students to learn about the job-seeking process, much of the advice is useful to anyone on the hunt for a job.

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