Unit 6: Entering the Workplace - Center for Human Services Education

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Unit 6: Entering the Workplace - Center for Human Services Education
Vocational Connections
Unit 6: Entering the Workplace
Overview:
Beginning employment, especially for the first time, can generate myriad emotional responses.
The lessons in this unit begin with normalizing and managing the emotions job-seekers
experience. Many of the feelings that arise are rooted in uncertain expectations that
employers may have of new employees. These expectations are explored, including effective
interview strategies, appropriate dress for specific workplaces, successful behaviors, and
working with the emotions that are a natural and integral part of the job-exploration process.
Topics Covered:

What am I Nervous About?
 Understanding Employer Expectations
 Dressing for Success
 Job Interview Preparation
Desired Outcome:
Students will develop an internal confidence that shines through to prospective employers,
especially in the interview stage of the job-seeking process. The lessons in this unit offer
students the opportunity to develop relaxation techniques, gain a better sense of employer
expectations, practice professional dress unique and appropriate for specific workplace
settings, and feel confident and comfortable during the interview process.
Vocational Connections: Fostering Community Involvement
Unit 6: Entering the Workplace
Lesson 1: What am I Nervous About?
This lesson encourages students to tune in to their emotions about working and begin to
develop coping skills to manage their emotions.
Students participating in this course will learn:
1. more words to describe their emotions using a feeling wheel
2. that behaviors are connected to emotions
3. that emotions can be identified
4. that they are not alone in their emotions
5. about feelings associated with job preparation
6. specific strategies to cope with nervousness
Students will be able to:
1. use more precise words to describe their emotions
2. discuss how their emotions are similar to other people’s emotions
3. identify and discuss their feelings in response to specific job scenarios
4. identify and discuss their nervousness about their job preparation
5. practice, reflect on, and discuss specific relaxation techniques
Measurable Outcome
Students will learn to both identify feelings of nervousness and practice a specific strategy to
help manage those feelings. Students should be able to both name several feeling words for
nervousness and discuss one strategy that works for them to help relax.
Approximate time needed:
Common Core Learning Standards and Career Development and Occupation Studies Standards:
ELA:
Speaking & Listening
Reading
Writing
Language
11-12.1a
11-12.7
11-12.6
11-12.1a,b
11-12.5
11-12.10
11-12.4c
CDOS:
2- 1, 2
3a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
2- 1, 2, 3
3b 1, 2 (HPS)
3a 1, 2, 5
3b 1, 3 (BIS)
3b 1 (ET)
3b 1 (HS)
3b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (A/H)
3b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (AH)
2- 1, 2, 3
2- 1, 2
3a 1
3b 1 (AH)
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:1.1: You “Wheel” Feel Better!!
Sometimes our emotions are very clear to us. We feel sad because our best friend moved out of state. But
sometimes, our emotions aren’t so clear; we may feel something but have a hard time identifying the feeling
or we may not necessarily feel something but find ourselves behaving in a certain way that shows our
emotions. For example, I may be very nervous about my upcoming interview, so I will talk very fast. I might not
feel the nervousness, but my body is reacting to the nervousness (talking fast…which is actually because my
“nervous” system literally speeds up (with adrenaline) to prepare to meet the challenge facing me!) This
activity invites your students to more accurately identify their emotions and become comfortable knowing that
others share their emotions, which goes a long way to normalizing and therefore managing strong feelings.
Materials
 Worksheet 6:1.1 (Feeling wheel handout, one for each student)
 Post it notes or cut up index cards. Six different colors are needed and each student will get 5 of each
color for a total of 30 slips of paper each
 Colored pencils that are the same (or similar) to the colors of the slips of paper
Directions
1. Have students sit in a circle for this activity. Begin the discussion by sharing a personal story of a time
when you felt nervous about something. Don’t tell the students what you were feeling, just describe
the situation. Ask students if they can make a guess about how you were feeling. Once a few students
show they can identify your feelings, ask for a few volunteers to share their own stories of a time when
they felt sad, scared, nervous, angry, etc. and get further student feedback about feelings. After a few
of these shared examples, tell students that they this activity will help them learn more words to
describe how they are feeling.
2. Hand out the Feeling Wheel worksheet. Ask students to look at the words. Are there words they do not
know? Cover as many of these as you can before moving on.
3. Pass out colored pencils.
4. Explain that the purpose of a feeling wheel is to broaden the vocabulary of feeling words. These words
will help students more accurately identify their feelings and be better equipped to manage those
feelings.
5. Starting from the center, have students color the triangle labeled ANGER in red. Have them color this
quite dark. The next layer of ANGER words (critical, distant, aggressive, etc) will be colored a slightly
lighter red. The outer layer of ANGER words (jealous, insecure, withdrawn, etc) will be colored a light
red. As a class, agree on the remaining colors for the other 5 main words (DISGUST, SAD, HAPPY,
SURPRISE, FEAR). Once the colors are agreed upon, write the word and its color on the board so all
students can see. Have the students color their feeling wheels.
6. When you are done, it will look something like this:
7. Now pass out the colored slips of paper. 5 of each color to each student for a total of 30 slips each.
8. Ask them to place the slips of paper in front of them like Monopoly money.
9. Tell them that each slip of paper corresponds with each of the main 6 emotions from the feeling wheel.
10. Read the first statement aloud (from Guide Sheet to follow) and ask the students to imagine what the
person described may be feeling. Once they identify the main feeling (ANGER, perhaps), then have
them look at their feeling wheel to find a more exact word to describe the way the person is feeling.
Once they choose a word, ask them to write that word on the slip of paper that corresponds with that
main feeling. For example, if the person described is identified as feeling provoked, then the student
will write that word on the red paper. They will do this privately and independently. After all students
have had a chance to choose and write a word, ask them to toss their word into the middle of the
circle. In most cases, there will be a predominant color, but there will likely be some different colors
too. Ask students to make observations and take a guess about why. Choose a few of the words of the
dominant color and read them aloud. Students will begin to see that there are many words to describe
a person’s feelings, and that their perception of those feelings are most often correct. If there are
different colors in the mix, choose one of them and read it aloud. Have a discussion (without identifying
the writer) about that word. Do other students agree that the person could be feeling that way? If not,
discuss that as well. If the student who wrote the word feels comfortable sharing they may but don’t
put anyone on the spot. When you feel the students are understanding the activity, go on to the next
statement and have students repeat the exercise for as long as you have time, leaving 15 minutes at
end for discussion.
Discussion:
1. Go around the room and ask students to give one word from their feeling wheel to describe how
they are feeling about this activity. No responses are given, just one student at a time giving their word
and then the next.
2. Why is it important to both understand what we are feeling and be able to use a word that
accurately describes it?
3. How did they feel when they saw that most people shared similar feelings?
4. How can they use this feeling wheel in their own life?
Worksheet 6:1.1: Feeling Wheel
Name: _______________________________________________________________________
Teacher Supplement for Activity 6:1.1
The Statements:
1. You applied for a job three weeks ago. It’s a job you really wanted. You haven’t gotten a call yet for an
interview.
2. You applied for a job last week and you got a call today to set up a job interview. The interview is
scheduled for tomorrow after school.
3. You applied for a job, and you are sitting in your interview. Your potential employer tells you that this
job will require you to work on Tuesdays from 4-8 but you have chess club every Tuesday from 3-5.
4. You and a friend applied for the same job. You found out today that your friend got the job but you
didn’t.
5. You have been looking for a job for several weeks. You finally found one that looks great. You begin to
put your resume together for the application when you realize you don’t have enough prior experience.
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:1.2: Relaxation Reflection
This is an ongoing activity but can be contained in one week. There are several strategies for managing all
those strong reactions that occur when we get nervous or anxious, and this activity is going to give your
students a chance to practice each one and reflect on it. Hopefully, they will be able to gain skills with at least
one that feels especially good for them that they can use when you feel nervous. Some of these are designed
for everyday use to help reduce the overall “stress” response.
Materials
 YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2GywoS77qc (Relaxing Music) Listen to this
ahead of time and if you would prefer different music, feel free to choose it. I suggest that you avoid
anything that is specifically religious.
 A YouTube video you choose that is funny based on your students’ interests. (Maybe a funny animal
video, or a stand- up comedy routine).
 Guided imagery audio: www.healthjourneys.com/kaiser/relieveStress flash.asp
 Muscle relaxation audio/video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaTDNYjk-Gw
Directions
1. This class will require a lot of advanced planning on your part to be sure you have time to complete
each activity. The purpose of this activity is to offer students a sampling of relaxation techniques in
class, in a safe environment. I would suggest only doing 5 minutes of each activity and leaving time
after each activity for reflection.
2. Begin discussion by reassuring students that not only do they experience emotions, but they can also
manage our emotions. Specifically, this activity focuses on relaxation techniques to help manage
nervousness. If you have an example from your own life, feel free to share it. Invite other students to
share any techniques they have. (Some may have a yoga practice or listen to classical music). Explain to
students that they will learn some new techniques to help them relax and they will try these every day
for an entire week and reflect on each.
3. Do one exercise at a time and leave plenty of time for reflection and discussion.
4. Homework: Students will find a journal or a notebook and complete each exercise every day of the
week and write a few sentences to reflect on how the exercise made them feel.
Handout 6:1.2: Relaxation Reflection
Name: _______________________________________________________________________
In a journal you really like, write about how each of the exercises below helps you (or not)
relax. This won’t be shared with anyone so be honest with yourself. Reflect on the ways this
exercise helped you and the ways it may not have. Try to choose one at the end of the week
that was most helpful to you and practice it regularly.
Monday: Today, you are going to try deep breathing:
Tuesday: Today, you are going to take a brisk 15 minute walk, preferably outside. Dress
appropriately.
Wednesday: Today, you are going to listen to some relaxing music. There are several options
available online. Here is one to get you started, but feel free to browse until you find
something you like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHfIfGlNrx4. Listen for at least 30 minutes. Try to
find a place where you will be undisturbed and you can sit/lay down comfortably. If you have
or can get headphones, this is best.
Thursday: Today, you are going to laugh your cares away!! Find a funny movie, watch a comedy
show or live stand up or spend time with the funniest person you know.
Friday: Today, you are going to try “toe tensing.”
Saturday: Today, you are going to practice with guided imagery. Again, find a place you can
relax, and listen to this guided imagery. Headphones are best. This takes about 20 minutes.
http://www.healthjourneys.com/kaiser/relieveStress_flash.asp
Sunday: Today, you are going to practice progressive muscle relaxation techniques. Here is one
audio/video you can try: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaTDNYjk-Gw but feel free to try others and
see what you like best. This will take about 20 minutes. This one is for kids, but I thought it was
cute…
Vocational Connections: Fostering Community Involvement
Unit 6: Entering the Workplace
Lesson 2: Understanding Employer Expectations
This lesson encourages students to learn about what an employer expects from his/her
employees from a variety of sources.
Students participating in this course will learn:
1. what expectations mean
2. general expectations that apply in most workplaces
3. specific expectations in the field they are interested in applying for
Students will be able to:
1. understand what expectations mean and discuss why they are important
2. generate a list of expectations for the general workplace
3. interview a few employers in the field the student is interested in and from
those interviews generate a list of specific expectations for that field
Desired Outcome:
Students will be able to describe several employer expectations as they prepare to enter the
workforce.
Measurable Outcome:
1. Students will be able to describe at least three employer expectations and specific ways
they can meet those expectations.
Approximate time needed:
Common Core Learning Standards and Career Development and Occupation Studies Standards:
ELA:
Speaking & Listening
Reading
Writing
Language
11-12.1a,b,c
11-12.4
11-12.2b
11-12.3
11-12.6
CDOS:
2- 1, 2
3a 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8
3b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (AH)
2- 1, 2
3a 1
3b 1 (AH)
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:2.1: Expect Expectations
In this activity, encourage students to do some fun and lighthearted thinking about why expectations are
important and to identify people in their lives who have expectations of them. For example, they each have
you, their dedicated and caring teacher. Can they identify what your expectations are and why you have those
expectations? One of your expectations may be that your students turn in all their homework on time. Why is
this important to you? Perhaps you are trying to teach them the importance of deadlines and/or that you don’t
want to be stuck grading a whole stack of late papers when more papers are coming in. (Let’s be honest!)
A way to begin this discussion could be to remind students that they have expectations too. Begin by
examining student expectations as a way to help them understand why expectations are important and why
others have expectations of them.
Materials
 Worksheet 6:2.1: Expecting Expectations
Directions
1. Have a general discussion that fits your class on what expectations are and why they are important.
2. Pass out the worksheet and invite students to take 5 minutes to fill out Part I. Check in with a few
students to be sure they are on the right track and then open it up to the class to discuss their
expectations.
3. Once you feel students understand the “expectations” give them 15 minutes to complete as much of
Part II as they can.
4. Discuss their findings and share in a class discussion.
5. They will take these worksheets home and ask the people they named if the expectations are correct.
(Does their mom really expect them to pick lint out of the carpet every afternoon after school?) They
may complete Part III at home as well.
6. They will return with their feedback and discuss. Some follow-up questions:
a. How close were you to identifying what _____’s expectations are of you?
b. If close: How did you know/If you had an expectation incorrect, why?
c. Why are expectations important?
Worksheet 6:2.1: Expecting Expectations
Part I
You have expectations of people. Did you know that? Okay, let’s see if I can predict a few
expectations you may have of your teacher, for example. When you arrive at this class, how
would you feel is your teacher wasn’t here? What if s/he never showed up? Did you know that
when you come to class and you know your teacher is going to be here that you are having an
“expectation”? We all have expectations of one another. Friends for one another, children for
parents and parents for us.
Write your name on the line. Then write the name of someone close to you on the next line.
Then write 3 expectations you have of this person. Why do you have these expectations?
Once you think about this and get some thoughts down, you will think about what
expectations others may have of you.
Your Name:_________________________________________________________________
Name of Someone Close to You:_________________________________________________
What Do You Expect of This Person?
Why Do You Expect This?
How do you communicate your expectations to this person? (Direct asking, throwing your body
on the floor when expectations aren’t met, withholding hugs and kisses, rewarding with your
favorite baseball card, etc….)
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
How do you feel when your expectations are not met? List words that come to mind:
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Part II
Name of a Person Who has Expectations of You: ___________________________________
What Does S/He Expect:
Why Does S/He Expect This of You?
Share this list with this person. How close was your prediction of the expectations? Circle.
(Very)___________________________(Somewhat)____________________(Not so Much)
Why:_________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Name of a Person Who has Expectations of You: ___________________________________
What Does S/He Expect:
Why Does S/He Expect This of You?
Share this list with this person. How close was your prediction of the expectations? Circle.
(Very)___________________________(Somewhat)____________________(Not so Much)
Why:_________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Name of a Person Who has Expectations of You: ___________________________________
What Does S/He Expect:
Why Does S/He Expect This of You?
Share this list with this person. How close was your prediction of the expectations? Circle.
(Very)___________________________(Somewhat)____________________(Not so Much)
Why:_________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Part III
Write briefly why you think expectations are important:
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:2.2: Employer Expectations
Now that students have an understanding of what expectations are, how they are communicated, and why
they are important, they are ready to apply that knowledge to employer expectations. This activity has two
parts: the first gets students thinking about general expectations of employers across workplace environments;
the second part encourages students to connect with employers in their community and get a list of specific
expectations necessary for the field of their choice.
Materials

Worksheet 6:2.2

Internet/phone book/library
Direction
 Part I is an in-class discussion. Collectively, students will think about what expectations MOST
employers would have of their employees. If they are having a hard time coming up with ideas, here
are some ideas to get them thinking: show up on time, do their best, offer to do more to help.
 Students may write ideas down as they think of them or as they hear them.
 Part II requires homework: Students will choose a job/field/hobby they are interested in. In class they
will find three sources to gather information from. For example, let’s say that Jordan (remember him?)
is interested in working with animals. He wants to know what expectations employers may have of him
if he were to get a job or volunteer at a shelter. Using the internet, phone books, library if necessary,
students will write down three resources they can use to find employers to interview. They will go
home with their 3 resources listed and their homework is to interview those individuals (can be by
phone, email or in-person) and ask what their expectations are for the people who work for them. They
will write these on their worksheet and bring it back to class for discussion.
 Part III: Reflection Questions: These questions encourage students to share openly their impression of
different expectations and think both critically and emotionally about them. Encourage safe sharing.
Worksheet 6:2.2: Employer Expectations
Name: _____________________________________________________________________
Part I
With your class come up with a list of expectations you think MOST employers have of their
employees:
Part II
Now that you have a general sense of what employers may expect from their employees, you
can interview real employers in your field of interest and see what their expectations are. You
may list them below:
A. Employer Name: ____________________________________________________________
Company Name: ______________________________________________________________
Type of Business: ______________________________________________________________
List of employer expectations:
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
B. Employer Name: ____________________________________________________________
Company Name: ______________________________________________________________
Type of Business: ______________________________________________________________
List of employer expectations:
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
C. Employer Name: ____________________________________________________________
Company Name: ______________________________________________________________
Type of Business: ______________________________________________________________
List of employer expectations:
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
_________________________________
____________________________________
Part III: Reflection Questions
1. Did any expectations surprise you? Yes/No. Why?
2. Were there any expectations that seemed unique to the field you chose? Discuss. Why do
you think these expectations are necessary for this field especially?
3. Were the expectations reasonable? Discuss those that were and those that were not. Did
you feel you were prepared to meet them if you got a job at one of the places?
4. Expectations you feel you need to work on:
5. Expectations you feel ready to meet
How will you work toward these?
How have you demonstrated this?
Additional Resources:
http://aawdc.org/youth-works/index.php/Job-Search-Tools/Employer-Expectations.html
(an easy to access site that just list very basic information about employer expectations)
http://www.americasjobexchange.com/career-advice/what-employers-want
(an excellent website that lists characteristics desired by employers and a brief explanation
about why those traits are valued)
http://advising.wvu.edu/r/download/81572
(a helpful guide to the differences between hard (knowledge based) skills and soft (more
personality based) skills)
http://www.jobsearchonline.bc.ca/Job%20Maintenance/employerexpectations.htm
(a great reminder of the some of the often overlooked aspects of employer expectations such
as excellent hygiene and neat handwriting)
Vocational Connections: Fostering Community Involvement
Unit 6: Entering the Workplace
Lesson 3: Dressing for Success
This lesson helps students make appropriate choices for how to dress in preparation for a job
interview.
Students participating in this course will learn:
1. how to evaluate different types of dress and when they are appropriate
2. about healthy hygiene
3. how to make a positive physical impression for an interview
Students will be able to:
1. interview a few employers in the field the student is interested in and learn
what is appropriate dress for an interview
2. (using clothes they already have/borrowed clothes/inexpensive clothes),
dress as if for an interview. The students may either present a photograph
or have a “fashion show” in class.
Desired Outcome:
Students will be able to dress appropriately for an interview with an employer they have
interviewed.
Measurable Outcome:
Students will demonstrate (either through a fashion show or a presentation of a picture
of themselves) their ability to dress appropriately for their chosen field of employment.
Approximate time needed:
Common Core Learning Standards and Career Development and Occupation Studies Standards:
ELA:
Speaking & Listening
Reading
Writing
Language
11-12.1a,e
11-12.6
11-12.5
2- 1, 2
3b 6 (NAS)
CDOS:
2- 1, 2
3a 1, 2, 3, 4
3a 1
3b 1 (ET)
3b 1 (AH)
3b 4 (A/H)
3b 5 (HPS)
3b 6 (BIS)
3b 7 (HS)
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:3.1: Impress ‘Em with Your Dressin’
This activity invites students to think about the ways we choose to dress and the variety of impressions those
choices make.
Materials
 8.5x11 card stock paper, enough for one sheet for each student
 A variety of fashion magazines
 Scissors
 Glue sticks
Directions
1. Ask students to fold paper in half longwise. That will give them two rectangles on the front and two
rectangles on the back.
2. At the top of each rectangle, have students write one of the descriptions: Playing my favorite sport;
Meeting a friend for coffee; Work uniforms; Business Casual
3. Generate a class discussion about what types of clothes would be appropriate for each type of activity.
Once you feel confident that they have a good general understanding, put out several magazines and
ask students to cut out either full pictures of people dressed for those activities or articles of clothing
that are suitable for each. Then students can cut out those pictures and glue them on card stock in the
appropriate rectangle.
4. Invite several students to share their small posters with the class and receive feedback.
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:3.3: What Shoe, What Hair-Do, What Color Blue? What Do I Choose For My Interview?
This lesson discusses a specific kind of expectation: how to dress and groom in a professional manner that gets
you a job! Places of work have different requirements for dress and grooming. Tattoos may be cool to serve
coffee at the local café but may have to be covered when working with the elderly in a nursing home. A
potential employee must know what is expected for a type of job, so students will interview an employer from
a field they are actually interested working in and get a list of what appearance expectations that employer
has. (Previous contacts may be used). This activity will focus on appropriate dress and grooming expectations
for an interview.
Materials

Access to internet/phone books (Or students may use contacts from previous lesson)
Directions
1. Discuss that each type of job requires/allows different ways of dress. For example, even when I was a
student in my doctoral program in clinical psychology, I was required to wear work casual clothes to
class, wear my hair in a conservative style, and wear small earrings and no personal jewelry that
reflects a religious orientation or displays my children. All workplaces have different guidelines. Explain
that this activity is designed to get students thinking about the type of work they would like to do and
what dress expectations that workplace may require from them. Students will either use previous
contacts or find news ones to interview for this activity.
2. Homework: Students will contact at least one (more if there is enough time) employer and ask about
appearance expectations for an interview at their workplace.
3. Discuss alternative sources available for nice clothes. It’s not how much the clothes cost; it’s how they
fit, how clean they are, and if they are appropriate for the type of job. For example, discuss the variety
of places clothes can come from: your own closet (don’t buy something new if you don’t have to);
borrowed from someone who shares your size; second hand from a thrift store (high quality at very
inexpensive prices); or even from local churches that provide FREE clothes for folks needing interview
clothes.
4. When ideas have been generated, students will come to a future class either: dressed and groomed in
an appropriate way and have a class fashion show (if you think your students would be into that) OR
they may turn in pictures of themselves dressed appropriately. (This will be a great item to add to the
student’s resource guide as a reminder).
5. Each student will give a class presentation, include the following information:
o what type of job s/he is seeking
o who s/he interviewed and where that person works
o either model for the class or show a picture
o open it up for feedback which will include: what is the best part of this person’s appearance,
and what is something the person could do more professionally. (Of course, keep these
comments to what a person can actually change, avoiding comments about a person’s weight or
crooked teeth). Set these “safe” communication guidelines ahead of time.
Additional Resources:
http://money.usnews.com/money/the-frugal-shopper/2014/03/17/dress-for-success-withoutbreaking-the-bank
(Article that discusses ways to look your best without breaking the bank)
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/06/20/how-to-dress-for-your-next-jobinterview/
(Focuses on the new trends toward less formal attire expected in the workplace and for
interviews. The article includes specific tips and has pictures of appropriate attire)
Schwartz, David. The Magic of Thinking Big (1987)
(Highly rated book on personal success that includes a chapter on dressing successfully).
Vocational Connections: Fostering Community Involvement
Unit 6: Entering the Workplace
Lesson 4: Job Interview Preparation
This lesson helps students prepare for an interview with a focus on feeling comfortable
answering questions about themselves and asking appropriate follow-up questions.
Students participating in this course will learn:
1. what kinds of questions are asked during an interview
2. how to provide answers that are appropriate, confident, and honest
3. how to ask follow-up questions
Students will be able to:
1. complete a list of potential interview questions with appropriate and
honest answers
2. participate in an informational interview with a professional
Desired Outcome:
Students will learn to anticipate the kinds of questions that may be asked in an interview and
develop confidence in answering those questions.
Measurable Outcome:
Students will be able to anticipate three questions expected in an interview and be able to
confidently demonstrate the ability to answer these questions professionally. This will be
demonstrated by a successful role play.
Approximate time needed:
Common Core Learning Standards and Career Development and Occupation Studies Standards:
ELA:
Speaking & Listening
Reading
Writing
Language
11-12.1a, c
11-12.7
11-12.1
11-12.5
11-12.2 b
11-12.6
2- 1, 2, 3 3b 1 (HS)
CDOS:
2- 1, 2
2- 1, 2
3a
1,
2,
5
3b
1
(NAS)
3a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
3a 1
3b 1 (ET)
3b 1 (AH)
3b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (A/H)
3b 1, 2 (HPS)
3b 1, 3 (BIS)
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:4.1: If You Ask it, the Answer Will Come
One of the scariest aspects of an interview for many people is not knowing what will be asked during an
interview. Of course, there is no way to know for certain what an employer will ask, but thinking about
potential questions ahead of time can go a long way to building confidence and helping students relax, two
“intangibles” that lay the foundation for a positive interview experience.
The purpose of this activity is to get students thinking about the types of questions that may be asked in an
interview and getting some practice answering many types of questions. It is meant to encourage critical
thinking, confidence building, and thinking on one’s feet.
Materials
 a 500 pack of blank 4x6 index cards
 pens/pencils
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVE4s7lU-zE (This video is an excellent summary of the more
modern trend of “Behavioral Interviewing.” It is very accessible and funny).
 Worksheet 6:4.1
Part I: Behavioral Interviewing Video
Directions
1. Watch the You Tube Video. (20 minutes). Pause the video frequently to allow students to ask
questions and to check in with them to be sure they understand the material.
2. Discussion questions:
3. Call out one thing they learned from this video.
4. Name something they learned that changed their thinking.
5. Based on the video, can each student come up with one “behavioral” question.
Part II: Role Play
Directions
1. Have a class discussion about the general idea of questions during an interview. Here are some
topics/questions for discussion. Feel free to add your own:
2. Why do employers ask questions?
3. What do you think employers are trying to find out by asking questions?
4. Can you give some examples of questions employers are most likely to ask?
5
Pass out 5 index cards to each student. You may take 5 cards for yourself.
6. Instruct students to write one interview question on each card. You may do yours too.
7. They should each have 5 index cards with a different question written on each card. These will be
collected and passed to the front. Shuffle cards. Ask the students to choose a partner.
8. Pass out worksheet 6:4.1 and explain directions that are on the worksheet.
9. Ask for a volunteer pair to come to the front/center of the room. One partner will be given 5 cards. The
partner with the cards is the “employer.” The partner with no cards is the “interviewee.” The
“employer” will look through the cards and decide the order that makes the most sense to ask the
questions. If s/he needs help, offer as much support as needed. If there are duplicate questions (which
is likely), just set the duplicates aside. Once the order is decided, the “employer” may begin in this way:
1. with an introduction of his/her name
2. a “thank you” for coming in
3. then s/he may begin with the first question
10. Let the students role play until all questions have been asked. Then guide the “employer” to end the
interview with an appropriate closing: (Thank you for coming.) Then guide the “interviewee” to close
appropriately as well: (I appreciate your time. I look forward to hearing from you, etc).
11. Once the role play is complete, invite the “interviewee” to talk about how it felt to be asked questions.
Offer positive support. Then open up feedback to the class using worksheet 6:4.1 as a guide. After each
feedback is offered, be sure to allow the “interviewee” to comment.
12. Now, have the students break off into pairs and pass out 5 cards to each pair. They will conduct their
own mock interview using the questions on the cards.
13. When done with their question/answers, have the “employer” pass the cards to the “interviewee.” The
interviewee will then flip the cards to the blank side and write at the top: Question for Employer. S/he
will then write one appropriate question on each card. Once the questions are written, s/he will ask the
“employer” those questions. (If you choose, you may do this in front of the class with a model pair as
before, or you may have the students work in private pairs while you walk around and observe.)
14. When role playing is complete, ask for volunteer “employers” to share questions they felt were
especially good. Write these on the board. Discuss why these questions were especially strong.
Worksheet 6:4.1
You will watch your classmates role play an interview. Use the key words below to help you
offer feedback for your classmate who is role playing the person being interviewed “the
interviewee.” Use the lines to jot notes. Be specific.
The interviewee was confident:
1
2
3
Needs some work
Okay
Definitely
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
The interviewee spoke clearly:
1
2
3
Needs some work
Okay
Definitely
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
The interview answered questions thoughtfully:
1
2
3
Needs Some Work
Okay
Definitely
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
The interviewee showed an interest by sitting up and leaning toward the employer:
1
2
3
Needs Some Work
Okay
Definitely
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
The interviewee gave specific examples when asked questions:
1
2
3
Needs Some Work
Okay
Definitely
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Additional Noticings/Feedback/Questions: (Feel free to use the back).
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:4.2: Question the Experts
This activity invites students to choose 3 professionals who work in a field they are interested in. It is not
necessary to set up a formal meeting. The students may send these professionals an email asking if they would
be willing to share 5 questions they might ask a potential employee in an interview.
Materials
 A phone book/access to internet
 15 index cards per student
 Blank paper
Directions
1. (Steps 1-3 are to be completed at home)
2. Invite students to find 3 professionals in a field in which they have some interest working.
3. The student will email/call each professional and ask for a list of 5 questions they might ask during an
interview.
4. The students will gather these questions. They should have 15 questions total. Ask them to write each
question on an index card (just as they did in class), even if there are duplicate questions they should
be written on separate cards. On the opposite side of the card, the student should write the
store/company/business/not-for-profit agency TYPE, not the specific name and the JOB TYPE:
“Elementary School: Teacher’s Assistant”
5. Cards are to be brought to class. Ask a student to hand you his/her stack. Read out the first question.
Then ask, “Does anyone else have the same or a very similar question?” Have those students pass their
index cards to you that have the same/similar question. Put them in a pile. Go on to the next question.
Keep separate piles similar questions. You are gathering data about “most likely” questions and thus
questions all students should be prepared to answer.
6. Once all the cards have been read/collected, pass out the “same/similar question” stacks to students
and have them tally. Write the top 5 questions on the board in order from the most popular: (The
number in parenthesis indicates how many cards had that question.)
1. “Can you tell me how you overcame a recent challenge.” (13)
2. “Share a recent success.” (11)
3. “Why are you interested in working for…?” (9)
After the top 5 questions are written on the board, ask students to take 10 minutes to answer the first
question. Give them plenty of time to process and write thoughtful responses. After the time is up, invite
students to share their responses.
Homework: For Resource Tools Binder
Have students go back to their original questions from the professionals they asked. They may eliminate
duplicates. Have them type up all questions with thoughtful responses. Their responses should be brief, no
more than a paragraph with 5 sentences for each. This sheet will go in their resource binder when complete.
Additional Resources:
You Tube videos are a great way to show the types of questions one may get asked in an interview. There are
many to choose from. I did not add links here because it is very dependent on the amount of class time you
have available.
http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/progsupt/jobsrvce/interviews-questions.htm
(Labor Department-State of Connecticut)
http://www.aie.org/finding-a-career/job-interviews/Common-Interview-Questions-to-Consider.cfm
(Excellent list of potential questions to be asked and suggestions for questions to ask of the employer)
Another suggestion for an activity is to combine the mock interview of this lesson with the fashion show of the
previous lesson and have students do their mock interviews while dressed appropriately. (If you can get them
to “dress up” for two classes in a row!)
Vocational Connections: Fostering Community Involvement
Unit 6: Entering the Workplace
Lesson 5: Getting to Work: Orientation and Mobility
This lesson helps students plan how they will get themselves to work and the amount of time it
takes to get to work on time.
Students participating in this course will learn:
1. the pros and cons of a variety of forms of transportation they may use to get to work.
2. how to research and plan both the mode of transportation and potential routes.
3. which mode and route is the best for their potential workplace.
Students will be able to:
1. critically evaluate a variety of modes of transportation practical for getting to work.
2. conduct research into possible forms of transportation and potential routes for their
future workplace.
3. choose the best form of transportation and most efficient route for their workplace and
field test their choice.
Desired Outcome:
Students will acquire the critical thinking skills necessary to investigate, research, field test, and
ultimately decide the best way for them to get to their place of employment.
Measurable Outcome:
2. Students will have considered many ways they can get to work and will have decided
(through research, critical thinking, and filed testing) which way is the best most of the
time.
Approximate time needed:
Common Core Learning Standards and Career Development and Occupation Studies Standards:
ELA:
Speaking & Listening
Reading
Writing
Language
11-12.1 a
11-12.7
11-12.2 b
11-12.4
11-12.6
2- 3
3b 6 (BIS)
CDOS:
2- 1, 2
2- 1, 2
3a2
3b
4,
6,
7
(HS)
3a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
3a 1
3b 1 (ET) 3b 6 (NAS)
3b 1 (AH)
3b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (A/H)
3b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (HPS)
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:5.1: Transportation Information
Figuring out how to get to work might be something we take for granted, but for students who have to arrange
their own transportation to get to work can be overlooked, especially if they have been taking a school bus
that picks them up at their home at a set time. Navigating how to get to work is likely a new skill needed. This
activity offers an overview of the types of transportation available to students as they enter the workplace and
how to plan for a variety of ways to get to work and when each is appropriate.
Materials
 Worksheet 6:5.1
 Newsprint/Board to write on
Directions
1. Start by asking the class, “Tell me how you got to school today.” Go around the room and ask
each student.
2. Write each new idea on the board/newsprint.
3. “Now I want you to think about the many ways there are to get to work.” Write these ideas
down as well.
4. Pass out the worksheet. They may work as a class, in pairs, or individually.
5. Discuss the answers.
Discussion
1. If you could choose any way you’d most like to get to work, how would you get there? Why? (What
about working from home where there is no commute at all?)
2. What would your ideal commute time be? Why?
3. What would you like your commute to look like?
4. Would you prefer to be alone?
5. Think of the ways you get to work all by yourself.
6. Would you prefer to commute with other people?
7. Think of the ways you could get to work with other people.
8. How long would your idea commute be?
Worksheet 6:5.1: Transportation Information
Name: _______________________________________________________________________
There are a lot of ways to get from here to there…but which is the best one for you to get to
work…on time? This worksheet gets you thinking about the types of transportation available
and helps you consider the advantages (pros) and disadvantages (cons) of each. The first one is
done for you as an example. Try to imagine many different workplaces. A retail job will likely
offer access to free parking, but an office job may be located in the city where parking is
difficult to find or has to be paid for.
Ways to Get From Here to There
city bus
Pros
 don’t have to find
parking
 don’t have to pay for
parking


Cons
cost: $2/day
bus schedule may not
match my work
schedule
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:5.2: Getting from Here to There…on Time!
In the previous activity, your students considered the many ways they can get to work. They considered the
pros and cons and also thought about some personal preferences. This activity takes them further along the
road to deciding the best form of transportation for their needs.
Materials
 worksheet 6:5.2
 laptops/computer access for every student
 use of google maps (or similar mapping program)
Directions
1. Remind your students that there are many ways to get to work. Ask them to refresh your memory of
some of the ways discussed in the previous activity.
2. Pass out the worksheet.
3. This is an individual activity, but students will be invited to share their thoughts and get feedback.
4. Instruct students that this is an activity to help them plan for their real job. They do not need to know
exactly where they will be working.
5. An important part of this activity is to weigh out their preferences with what is most practical and
choosing from options that are available. If they would like to take the bus, but the bus stop is 1 mile
from their work, is that the best choice?
6. Before they make their choices, they need to investigate the possibilities. For example, let’s say that a
student would like to ride her bike to work, but the only way to work is on a busy highway. Is that really
an option? This is where the internet comes in handy.
7. For each choice they make, they must research the practicality of that choice. This research includes
the use of google maps (or similar) and perhaps even calling the potential place of employment. (For
example, does Wegmans have a bike rack where she can put her bike safely during her shift?) Also,
there are often choices of routes too. Perhaps google maps suggests the highway, but if your shift is
during rush hour, maybe taking the back road would be quicker.
8. After three options have been decided, ask the students to choose one that will be their primary
transportation. What is their back-up plan?
Homework

For homework, you are going to choose ONE workplace and ONE form of transportation you
think may be the best way to get there. Be prepared to discuss:
o Is this still the best way to get there? Why? Why not?
o Did you have any unexpected problems?
o Is there another way you’d like to try?
Worksheet 6:5.2: Getting from Here to There…on Time
Name: ______________________________________________________________________
You have being thinking about the types of jobs you would be interested in applying for. This
activity is going to help you think about how you will get TO your job. Provided is an example
of how to answer the statements below:
Job 1: Cashier at local grocery store__________________________________________
Specific Employer: Wegmans________________________________________________
Possible shifts: anytime/open 24 hours_________________________________________
Commute distance from my house: 2 miles_____________________________________
Transportation:
Approx. Time:
Pros:
Cons:
bus
35 minutes
*get dropped off in front
*don’t have to get a ride
*great exercise
*don’t have to worry about
parking
*$2 every day
*long commute
bike
22 minutes
*don’t want to ride in
dark
*don’t want to get my
clothes dirty
walk
45 minutes
*great exercise
*takes a long time
*peaceful
*bad weather?
Weighing out my options, I would choose to go to work on MOST days by: Bus___________
Job 1:
__________________________________________________________________
Specific Employer:
________________________________________________________
Possible shifts: __________________________________________________________
Commute distance from my house:
___________________________________________
Transportation: Approx. Time:
Pros:
Cons:
Weighing out my options, I would choose to go to work on MOST days by:
_____________
My back-up choice would be:
___________________________________________________
Job 2:
__________________________________________________________________
Specific Employer:
________________________________________________________
Possible shifts: __________________________________________________________
Commute distance from my house:
___________________________________________
Transportation: Approx. Time:
Pros:
Cons:
Weighing out my options, I would choose to go to work on MOST days by:
_____________
My back-up choice would be:
___________________________________________________
Job 3:
__________________________________________________________________
Specific Employer:
________________________________________________________
Possible shifts: __________________________________________________________
Commute distance from my house:
___________________________________________
Transportation: Approx. Time:
Pros:
Cons:
Weighing out my options, I would choose to go to work on MOST days by: _____________
My back-up choice would be: ___________________________________________________
Vocational Connections: Fostering Community Involvement
Unit 6: Entering the Workplace
Lesson 6: Preparing for Change
This lesson allows students to process their feelings about the changes they may feel as they
transition from school to work.
Students participating in this course will learn:
1. that change always causes feelings and that these feelings are normal.
2. to identify their specific concerns.
3. to identify supports who can assist them with their transition concerns.
Students will be able to:
1. discuss their feelings about the changes they may experience as they transition.
2. identify their specific concerns.
3. identify people who can help them.
4. identify strategies they can use to help themselves manage their feelings.
Desired Outcome:
Students will develop a plan to help them manage the transition from school to work.
Measurable Outcomes:
3. Students will be able to identify and discuss their concerns as they transition to the
workforce.
4. Students will have identified strategies to help them through the transition.
5. Students will have identified specific people to help them.
Approximate time needed:
Common Core Learning Standards and Career Development and Occupation Studies Standards:
ELA:
Speaking & Listening
Reading
Writing
Language
11-12.1 b, c
11-12.1 a
11-12. 2 b
CDOS:
2- 1, 2
3a 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8
2- 1, 2
3a 1
3b 1 (AH)
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:6.1: Cha-cha-changes…
The transition from school to work requires an important set of skills that includes behavioral, emotional, and
interpersonal adjustments. This activity will look at transition and adjustment to change in a fun and
interactive way through the common game of charades.
Materials
 Teacher Supplement 6:6.1 to be printed on card stock and cut out ahead of time.
 You may also choose to keep one copy of the scenarios posted so the students can see their choices.
(This makes it easier to pick the one the student is acting out).
 http://www.longriverweb.com/flc/workplacescenarios.pdf
Directions
1. Share with students a time you had to adjust to a change. Maybe you had to take a new job, or you had
to move, or you just found out that you won a competition and you had to prepare for a national
championship. Ask students to share a time when they had to adjust to a new situation. (Maybe they
had a substitute teacher when they weren’t expecting one, etc).
2. Tell them that they are going to play a game where they will have to “show” how they will react to new
situation, and the rest of their classmates will have to guess what they are reacting to. The only rule is
that the student cannot say anything. Everything has to be acted out, silently.
3. Place the scenario cards in a box and have a student choose a card. S/he will read the card silently and
be sure s/he understands the scenario.
4. The student will act out his/her reaction to the scenario on the card. Their classmates will try to guess
which scenario they are acting out.
Discussion
1. After each scenario ask the following questions:
a. Which scene is being acted out?
b. How was the person feeling?
c. What clues did you have about how about the person was feeling?
d. What behaviors did you observe?
e. What would do in this situation?
f. How would you feel in this situation?
Teacher Supplement 6:6.1: Scenario Cards
You are working in a retail situation. There is a sale going
on and the store is extremely
busy. A customer comes to you and asks you a question
about a particular product that
you sell. You know a lot about this product, and discuss it
with him/her but, for every
question that you answer, the customer comes up with
another one. It is clear that this
customer is interested in your merchandise, but that
he/she also is interested in keeping
the conversation going. Meanwhile, there are other
customers who need help (checking
out, other questions, etc.).
You have been working for 3 hours and suddenly feel sick.
Your manager is down the hall in a meeting, what would
you do?
Your supervisor gave you specific directions to complete a
task. You did not like the assignment and have been very
verbal about it. You were not sure exactly what the
supervisor wanted you to do and did not get clarification.
You know the work was incomplete because the supervisor
was not clear about what was needed or wanted. You feel
your supervisor is playing favorites by repeatedly giving
you assignments and not anyone else.
Jamal, a cashier at a retail store, asks his Store Manager to
order special equipment for the cash register because he
has low vision and cannot see the number keys. The Store
Manager agrees to Jamal’s request and orders the special
equipment. Later that day, the Store Manager tells one of
Jamal’s co-workers about the special equipment she
ordered because Jamal has trouble seeing the number keys
on the cash register. The co-worker is surprised and says
she didn’t know that Jamal was “blind as a bat.” The next
day, Jamal’s co-workers call him Batman and flap their
arms and squint when they see him. What would you do?
Your new supervisor has called you into the office for an
unknown reason. This supervisor has been there five years
longer than you have. However, you have worked harder
and put in more hours and feel you know more.
Two weeks ago, your supervisor spoke to you about being
late for work. You were on time all last week, but this
week were continually faced with problems which made
you late for work. Now you are being called into their
office.
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:6.2: School to Work Changes
This activity focuses on the changes your students will experience as they transition from school to work. For
some, they may work while they are in school. For others, they will leave school and then begin work. This
activity will help them prepare for both kinds of changes. One of the biggest changes will be going from an
environment where their unique challenges are well understood to the workplace where people may not be as
adept at handling their unique circumstances.
Materials
 Worksheet 6:6.2
 Newsprint or a board to write on
Directions
1. Introduce the activity by telling the students about your first job. Focus on how you felt and how you
got ready. Also describe your first day. Maybe discuss some challenges you faced and how you handled
those challenges. If you (like me) started your first job many years ago and can’t quite remember, that’s
okay; you can embellish if you like. Ask students to talk about a time they had to do something new.
See if you can help them draw parallels with starting work. Discuss positive stress: even when
something is good, you can feel stress about it.
2. Pass out the worksheet. Have students work individually to start. Once they have completed the
worksheet, invite students to share their concerns. Write these concerns on the newsprint/board. This
is important so students can see that their concerns are shared by others.
3. Now ask students to share what they can do to help them feel better or address their concerns. Write
these on the board as well. Students can use the back of their worksheet for more ideas.
Discussion




Were you surprised to learn that your classmates shared some of your concerns?
Can you talk about how you decided that a particular person would be best to help you?
Do you think it’s normal to have concerns when you are starting a new job?
Is there an idea for coping with your concerns that a classmate suggested that may work for you
too? Describe how it will help you.
Homework
 Bring home your worksheet and discuss your concerns with one of the people you listed who may
help you. Be prepared to discuss your conversation for the next class.
Worksheet 6:6.2: School to Work
Name: _____________________________________________________________________
Concerns about starting a new job:
People that may be able to assist you:
Ideas for coping:
Vocational Connections: Fostering Community Involvement
Unit 6: Entering the Workplace
Lesson 7: Understanding Workplace and Community Safety
Students will gain an appreciation for the seriousness of workplace safety. Additionally, they
will learn where to find safety guidelines both in employee handbooks and from additional
resources online.
Students participating in this course will learn:
1. that workplace safety rules exist just as safety rules exist in school and at home.
2. where to find workplace safety guidelines.
3. to advocate for themselves in the workplace to ensure their safety.
Students will be able to:
1. identify safety rules at home, in school, and in the workplace.
2. locate specific workplace safety guidelines.
3. identify unsafe working conditions
4. advocate for their safety at work.
Desired Outcome:
In this very important lesson, students will learn about many facets of workplace safety.
Measurable Outcomes:
 Students will be able to identify both general and specific workplace safety
guidelines.
 Students will be more comfortable advocating for their safety on the job.
Approximate time needed:
Common Core Learning Standards and Career Development and Occupation Studies Standards:
ELA:
Speaking & Listening
Reading
Writing
Language
11-12.1 a, c
11-12.2
11-12.4
11-12.6
CDOS:
2- 1, 2
3a 1, 2, 3, 4
2- 1, 2, 3
3b 1 (NAS)
3a 1, 2, 5
3b 1 (ET)
3b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (A/H)
3b 1, 2 (HPS)
3b 1, 3 (BIS)
3b 1 (HS)
3b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (AH)
2- 1, 2
3a 1
3b 1 (AH)
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:7.1: Safety at Home and in School
To begin to understand the importance of workplace safety, this activity focuses on two places your students
are already familiar with: home and school. They may be more aware of school safety rules, but their families
also have safety rules they may not be aware of (or that they know so well already they don’t even think about
them).
Materials
 A roll of green duct tape with several strips cut out of about 3”
 A roll of red duct tape with several strips cut out of about 3”
 One poster board with a drawing of a simple house and another with a simple drawing of a school
house (or some representation of school):


Large black sharpie marker
Teacher supplement (attached)
Directions
1. Begin the discussion by asking each student to give one reason why safety (in general) is important. You
may write these on the board if you choose.
2. Now ask the students to think about safety at home. Choose a student with good handwriting to write
that safety tip on the green duct tape strip. Get as many as they can think of and assist them if they
need help coming up with more ideas. After each idea, stick them on the “home” poster board.
3. Now ask students to think of things that are not safe to do at home. Have someone write these ideas
on the red strips of duct tape. Stick these on the “home” poster board.
4. Repeat this process with the school poster board.
Discussion
1. How did know what is safe and not safe at home and in school?
2. What do you do if you’re not sure if something is safe or not?
3. What should you do if someone asks you to do something that you feel is not safe?
Homework
 Ask someone you know who has a job to bring home their employee handbook from work.
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:7.2: Workplace Safety
Workplace safety is extremely important. Nearly 5,000 workers were killed on the job in 2012, and there were
nearly 3 million nonfatal injuries!! (OSHA & Department of Labor Statistics, 2012). Workplace safety is critical
to understand. This activity emphasizes the importance of workplace safety, gives students a sense of
workplace safety rules, and also teaches them to be on-the-job advocates for their safety.
Materials
 Teacher supplement: True life stories about workplace accidents that led to injury or death. Print one
copy and cut out each workplace story.
 Worksheet 6:7.2a
 Employee handbooks (brought in for homework)
 Access to internet
 Worksheet 6:7.2b
Directions
1. Share with your students the statistics above. Ask them to discuss why they think there are so many
workplace injuries and fatalities.
2. Have the class break into pairs.
3. Hand each pair of students one of the workplace stories.
4. Pass out worksheet 6:7.2a and have them work through the questions.
5. Discuss as a class when they have completed.
6. Now ask students to take out the employee handbooks they brought.
7. Pass out the worksheet.
8. Ask students to identify where they can find workplace safety information in their handbooks. Be sure
everyone knows where this information is located.
9. Using the employee handbooks they brought in, have them answer the questions on the worksheet.
10. Discuss workplace safety rules as a class by writing them on the board as students share what they
have learned.
11. Show students where they can find information online about their rights to be protected at work. I have
listed a few, but you may want to find some more that may be more specific to your location.
a. https://www.osha.gov/youngworkers/index.html
b. http://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/safetyhealth/DOSH_INDEX.shtm
c. http://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/safetyhealth/DOSH_PESH.shtm
Focus especially on self-advocacy. Many accidents occur because the worker is afraid to speak up,
afraid to lose their job, or they just aren’t sure if the situation is safe or not.
Jennifer was 17 years old when she got a job at pizza shop. While on her shift, she went to
prep her dough. She placed it on a machine that would knead and flatten the dough through
rollers pulled by a chain. As the dough went in, she noticed that the roller had dough stuck on
it so she reached in to clear it. “The chain pulled my hand in,” she says. “I didn’t really feel it.
When I pulled my hand out and looked at it, I could see my fingers were missing. I could see
the bone in my finger and all the muscle.”
As a young employee at a fast food burger restaurant, Tom Smith learned early that he would
have to be careful with more than just flipping burgers. Although the restaurant enforced
strict safety rules, one night while routinely cleaning the grill, Smith didn't put on the
insulated, fireproof gloves provided by the restaurant. When his arm slipped onto the grill, he
sustained a nasty burn. "I thought I knew everything about cleaning, that I knew what I was
doing, and I didn't need to wear the gloves," he recalls.
I slipped and fell at work. The floor was wet and there was no wet floor sign. The area was open to the
customers to walk through. So it’s possible anyone else could have fallen. I fractured my left elbow,
left wrist and a carpal bone.
Regina loved her new job as a data entry specialist. After she had been at her job for a little
over a year, she began to experience pain in her right arm. She went to the doctor and was
told that she was suffering from repetitive stress injury. She told her boss that she would
need a special keyboard and a mouse pad with raised gel for under her hand. Her employer
refused because of the added expense. Regina needed her job so she continued working
without the accommodations she needed. After another year of working while being in pain,
she found that she had done permanent damage to her right arm and would no longer be able
to do data entry or any type of computer related work,
Carlos worked in a local restaurant as a short order cook. He noticed that the shelves in the
kitchen were stacked pretty high with cans of food. He mentioned this to his boss, but his
boss said they had nowhere else to store the cans. About a month later, Carlos was working in
the kitchen and bumped into one of those shelves. A large can of beans fell on his head,
knocking him unconscious. He suffered a severe concussion and still has difficulty maintaining
his balance. He suffers from very severe headaches and sometimes forgets stuff that a 22
year old should easily remember.
Teacher Supplement 6:7.2: True Stories of Workplace Injuries
(Make one copy and cut out each story)
Worksheet 6:7.2a: Unsafe Scenarios
Name:
_____________________________________________________________________________
You will be given a real story about a young person who got injured on the job. Use the
worksheet to reflect on this story.
How did the injury happen?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
List three things that could have prevented the injury/death:
 ___________________________________________________________________
 ___________________________________________________________________
 ___________________________________________________________________
What problems did you see before the injury occurred?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
How could you have advocated for yourself in that workplace situation?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Worksheet 6:7.2b: Handbook for Safety
Name: _______________________________________________________________________
You will use the employee handbook you brought in to look for safety guidelines and employer
responsibility. It is the responsibility of the employer to keep you safe; however, it’s up to you
know the rules and protect yourself!
What is the section called in your handbook that describes your rights to stay safe at work?
_____________________________________________________________________________
Below, list ten safety rules you can find:
1. ________________________________________________________________________
2. ________________________________________________________________________
3. ________________________________________________________________________
4. ________________________________________________________________________
5. ________________________________________________________________________
6. ________________________________________________________________________
7. ________________________________________________________________________
8. ________________________________________________________________________
9. ________________________________________________________________________
10. ________________________________________________________________________
List 5 safety rules that you should follow that may not be listed in the handbook:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
List 5 other resources you can turn to to find what your safety rights are:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
What can you do if you see if an unsafe situation at work or if you are asked to do something
you don’t feel safe doing?
Vocational Connections: Fostering Community Involvement
Unit 6: Entering the Workplace
Lesson 8: Informational Interviewing Skills
This lesson encourages students to become familiar and get practice with the informational
interview.
Students participating in this course will learn:
1. the purpose of an informational interview.
2. the basic format of an informational interview.
3. the steps necessary to plan the interview.
4. the types of questions for the interview.
5. how to conduct an informational interview.
Students will be able to:
1. explain what an information interview is and why it’s important.
2. develop questions for the interview.
3. conduct an informational interview with a professional in their field of interest.
Desired Outcome:
Students will be able to prepare for and conduct an informational interview.
Measurable Outcomes:
 Students will have developed appropriate protocols for setting up and preparing for an
informational interview.
 Students will have conducted an informational interview with a professional in their field
of interest and received feedback.
Approximate time needed:
Common Core Learning Standards and Career Development and Occupation Studies Standards:
ELA:
Speaking & Listening
Reading
Writing
Language
11-12.1 a, c, e
11-12.4
11-12.4 a, c
11-12.7
11-12.6
CDOS:
2- 1, 2
3a 1, 2, 3, 4
3b 1 (ET)
3b 4 (A/H)
3b 5 (HPS)
3b 6 (BIS)
3b 7 (HS)
3b 6 (NAS)
3b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ,6 (AH)
2- 1, 2
3a 1
3b 1 (AH)
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:8.1: Get Informed
An important subset skill of networking is the informational interview. This activity introduces students to the
informational interview: what it is, why it is important, and how to conduct one. I have long had an interest in
starting a local magazine, but I really had no idea how to go about starting one. Also, I didn’t know anyone who
started their own magazine, so I had no idea where to begin. What I did know was a neighbor who was staff
writer for a local newspaper. I called her and shared what I was interested in doing. Come to find out, she had
done some writing for a local magazine, and she happened to be good friends with a guy who did start his own
magazine. So, even though I didn’t have a direct connection with the person I needed to speak with, I used the
connections I did have to make this connection with someone who could answer my questions very
specifically. (And I grew my network!)
Materials
 Teacher supplement
 Worksheet 6:8.1
 Homework 6:8.1
Directions
1. Pass out the worksheet.
2. Give students a few minutes to look over the worksheet and answer any questions they have.
3. Work through each question as a class after they have had time to think of the answers on their own.
(The attached teacher supplement provides information/answers).
4. Write answers on the board. When you get to the “5 questions” section, write down all new ideas.
Discussion
1. What can you do if you are interested in a particular field but you don’t know anyone who works in that
field?
2. What are the benefits of an informational interview?
3. Why is it important to dress professionally even though this is not a job interview?
Homework
 Homework 6:8.1 to be completed at home and brought in for the next lesson. Try to meet with
someone before the next lesson, but if the person you would like to meet with isn’t available in that
time, just meet with a friend or family member to get practice.
Teacher Supplement 6:8.1
Typical Questions Appropriate for an Informational Interview (from: www.quintcareers.com)
What is your job like?
- A typical day?
- What do you do? What are the duties/functions/responsibilities of your job?
- What kinds of problems do you deal with?
- What kinds of decisions do you make?
- What percentage of your time is spent doing what?
- How does the time use vary? Are there busy and slow times or is the work activity fairly constant?
5. Why did this type of work interest you, and how did you get started?
6. How did you get your job? What jobs and experiences have led you to your present position?
7. Can you suggest some ways a student could obtain this necessary experience?
8. What are the most important personal satisfactions and dissatisfactions connected with your occupation? What part of this
job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging? What do you like and not like about working in this industry?
9. What things did you do before you entered this occupation?
- Which ones have been most helpful?
- What other jobs can you get with the same background?
10. What are the various jobs in this field or organization?
11. Why did you decide to work for this company?
12. What do you like most about this company?
13. Do you find your job exciting or boring? Why?
14. How does your company differ from its competitors?
15. Why do customers choose this company?
16. Are you optimistic about the company's future and your future with the company?
17. What does the company do to contribute to its employees' professional development?
18. How does the company make use of technology for internal communication and outside marketing? (Use of e-mail, Internet,
intranets, social media, Web page, video conferencing, etc.)
19. What sorts of changes are occurring in your occupation?
20. How does a person progress in your field? What is a typical career path in this field or organization?
- What is the best way to enter this occupation?
- What are the advancement opportunities?
- What are the major qualifications for success in this occupation?
21. What were the keys to your career advancement? How did you get where you are and what are your long-range goals?
22. What are the skills that are most important for a position in this field?
23. What particular skills or talents are most essential to be effective in your job?
How did you learn these skills? Did you enter this position through a formal training program? How can I evaluate whether or not I
have the necessary skills for a position such as yours?
24. How would you describe the working atmosphere and the people with whom you work?
25. Is there a basic philosophy of the company or organization and, if so, what is it? (Is it a people-, service- or productoriented business?)
26. What can you tell me about the corporate culture?
27. What is the average length of time for an employee to stay in the job you hold?
Are there incentives or disincentives for staying in the same job?
28. Is there flexibility related to dress, work hours, vacation schedule, place of residence, etc.?
29. What work-related values are strongest in this type of work (security, high income, variety, independence)?
30. If your job progresses as you like, what would be the next step in your career?
31. If your work were suddenly eliminated, what kinds of work do you feel prepared to do?
32. With the information you have about my education, skills, and experience, what other fields or jobs would you suggest I
research further before I make a final decision?
33. How is the economy affecting this industry?
34. What can you tell me about the employment outlook in your occupational field? How much demand is there for people in
this occupation? How rapidly is the field growing? Can you estimate future job openings?
35. What obligations does your employer place have on you outside of the ordinary work week? What social obligations go along
with a job in your occupation?
- Are there organizations you are expected to join?
- Are there other things you are expected to do outside work hours?
36. How has your job affected your lifestyle?
37. What are the salary ranges for various levels in this field? Is there a salary ceiling?
38. What are the major rewards aside from extrinsic rewards such as money, fringe benefits, travel, etc.?
39. From your perspective, what are the problems you see working in this field?
40. What are the major frustrations of this job?
41. What interests you least about the job or creates the most stress?
42. If you could do things all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? Why? What would you change?
43. What are the educational, requirements for this job? What other types of credentials or licenses are required? What types
of training do companies offer persons entering this field? Is graduate school recommended? An MBA? Does the company
encourage and pay for employees to pursue graduate degrees?
44.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51.
52.
53.
54.
55.
56.
57.
58.
59.
60.
61.
Does your work relate to any experiences or studies you had in college?
How well did your college experience prepare you for this job?
What courses have proved to be the most valuable to you in your work? What would you recommend for me?
How important are grades/GPA for obtaining a job in this field?
How do you think my university's reputation is viewed when it comes to hiring?
How do you think graduation from a private (or public) university is viewed when it comes to hiring?
How did you prepare for this work? If you were entering this career today, would you change your preparation in any way to
facilitate entry?
What abilities or personal qualities do you believe contribute most to success in this field/job?
What are the typical entry-level job titles and functions? What entry-level jobs are best for learning as much as possible?
Who is the department head or supervisor for this job? Where do you and your supervisor fit into the organizational
structure?
Who else do you know who is doing similar kinds of work or uses similar skills? What other kinds of organizations hire people
to perform the functions you do here? Do you know of other people whom I might talk to who have similar jobs?
Do you have any advice for someone interested in this field/job? Are there any written materials you suggest I read? Which
trade/professional journals and organizations would help me learn more about this field?
What kinds of experience, paid or unpaid, would you encourage for anybody pursuing a career in this field?
What special advice do you have for a student seeking to qualify for this position?
Do you have any special words of warning or encouragement as a result of your experience?
These are my strongest assets (skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits and
values):___________________________________. Where would they fit in this field? Where would they be helpful in this
organization? Where might they fit in other fields? Where might they be helpful in other organizations?
How would you assess the experience I've had so far in terms of entering this field?
[If you feel comfortable and it seems appropriate:] Would you mind taking a look at my resume?
Appropriate Steps for Setting up an Informational Interview


Be clear about what you want to know.
Choose the best person to answer those questions. If you are interested in being a waitress, you don’t
need to interview the manager.
 Start with friends and family. If no one you know works in the field you are interested in, ask them if
they know someone. If not, research a business that might offer that career and look at employee
directory or call and ask.
 Call for an appointment.
 Prepare your questions in advance.
 Prepare a statement about yourself. (Not to be read, but be familiar with it).
 Dress professionally.
 Plan how you are getting to the meeting.
 Arrive no more than 5 minutes early.
 Be prepared to answer some questions about yourself.
 Use active listening.
 Ask if this person can connect you with others in the field.
 Write a thank you note within 24 hours.
 Follow up with any referrals.
Worksheet 6:8.1: Get Informed
Name: _______________________________________________________________________
What is an informational interview?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
What is the purpose of an informational interview?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Who should you ask for an informational interview? (Not a specific person, yet)
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
List 5 questions you could ask in an informational interview:
 _______________________________________________________________________
 _______________________________________________________________________
 _______________________________________________________________________
 _______________________________________________________________________
 _______________________________________________________________________
Answer the following questions based on what you know now. Check the box.
Yes
Should I prepare questions ahead of time?
Should I show up at someone’s workplace and ask for an interview?
Should I wear jeans and a t-shirt?
Should I send a thank you note/email after the meeting?
Should I bring my resume?
Should I ask for a meeting that lasts for 2 hours?
Should I be prepared to talk about my own experiences, education, and interests?
Should I do some research on the company where the person I am meeting works?
Should I practice my interview with a family member ahead of time?
Should I ask for a job?
No
Should I ask the person if they know other people I could talk to?
Should I show up late for my appointment?
Should I call ahead and ask to set up an appointment?
Homework 6:8.1
Name: _______________________________________________________________________
You will choose a person to interview and create an outline for your informational interview
using this worksheet as a guide.
I have chosen to interview: ____________________________________________________.
Type of job: _________________________________________________________________
Place of employment: _________________________________________________________
Contact information: __________________________________________________________
Date and time for appointment: _________________________________________________
I am interested in this field because:
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
I would like to have this type of job in this field: ______________________________________
(If you don’t know yet, that’s okay!)
5 questions I would like to ask:
 ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
 ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
 ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
 ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
 ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
Draft of my thank you note:
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Checklist for the Informational Interview
Name: _______________________________________________________________________
BEFORE the meeting
o I have prepared a copy of my resume and printed it on professional paper.
o I have chosen a professional outfit. It is clean and pressed.
o I know how I am going to get to the meeting.
o I have confirmed the time by calling or emailing the day before.
o I have created a business card (optional).
o I have prepared a list of questions.
o I have prepared a brief statement about myself.
o I have practiced with a family member.
DURING the meeting (You don’t have to check these off during the meeting; rather, use this as a reminder).
If you want to after the meeting, you can check off those things you did remember to do. Don’t worry if you
forgot something. You are just learning. This is practice!
o
o
o
o
o
o
I thanked the person for their time.
I gave a brief introduction about myself, including why I am interested in learning more.
I asked my questions.
I asked if they know other people in the field who may be willing to talk with me as well?
I kept the meeting to about 30 minutes.
I thanked the person for their time.
AFTER the meeting
o I have sent the person a thank you note/email.
o I have followed up with any other people they suggested I talk to.
o I have thought more about this field of employment.
o I have created more specific questions for the next person I meet with.
This is what I did really well in this meeting:
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
For my next meeting, I will:
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
The most important information I learned in this meeting was:
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
I’d like to learn more about:
Teacher Curriculum Guide
Activity 6:8.2: Informational Interview: Let’s Talk
The majority of the work for this lesson will have been done outside class, so this class will focus on discussing
how it went. It’s important to validate their experiences, understanding that if they made mistakes, it’s fine.
This is probably the very first time they have ever done this type of interviewing before. It is equally important
to discuss ways they can improve. Focus on their individual experiences and have the class offer feedback.
Materials
 Homework 6:8.1 completed by the student. This includes the checklist.
 Extra blank copies of homework 6:8.1 (with checklist) for future use
Directions
1. Set up the classroom (if it’s not already) so all the chairs are in a circle.
2. Invite the students to share their experiences. Everyone should share. Even if they feel uncomfortable,
they should be encouraged to feel brave. This public processing is good preparation for the many
interviews they have ahead of them.
3. Give each student ample time to share and get feedback. Use the questions below to help frame and
guide both your questions and questions from classmates.
Discussion
1. Please share your experience.
2. Did you feel nervous? If you did, what strategies did you use to help calm you?
3. What did you learn from your interview?
4. After the interview, are you still interested in this field?
5. Was there anything unexpected you learned?
6. Did you feel like you had enough time?
7. Why did you feel this interview was valuable (or not)?
8. For your next interview, can you share one thing you might do differently?
9. Do you have any advice for your classmates from your experience?
10. Did you get the answers you were looking for?
11. What is your next step with this job search?