Integrity Matters Broadcasts

March 17, 2008

Pay it forward II - learning to mentor - from the pros!

Step one is participating in a proven-process

Dear Friends:

Wanted to share some ideas, being developed and implemented locally, but have the potential when rolled-out in other communities, that could have constructive impact on the productivity and quality of life – for many people.  So, please bear with our current focus, Monterey County, in central California, and let us know when, where and how we might export what we know, or import what you know – to enhance the opportunities for the next generation, starting now!

Success, at just about anything, leverages wisdom and works at refining programs and processes.  So it is with building a resource team to “mentor” students – whether at the university, senior-high or grammar-school level. To start the ball rolling, with and through our Executives-in-Residence Program, we have had the good fortune of connecting with Marc Rosen, Counselor, and Alisal High School Career Center.  What follows is an overview of a program that he and his colleagues have developed and are successfully implementing.

Step one is participating in a proven process.

Prior to individuals participating in our Career Counseling program through Executives-in-Residence, with and for our 2008-2009 Pay It Forward Scholarship recipients, we are directing each volunteer to first sign up with Marc Rosen – receiving orientation and supervised mock-interview counseling experience.  Not only does this process expand our Monterey County impact, it clarifies standards for mentoring performance and effective one-on-one feedback with students. 

Please review the materials below and confirm with us, via email or phone; that you are contacting Marc Rosen to sign up with him and his colleagues to be a part of his interviewing program.  How to contact Marc Rosen is printed below.

From Marc Rosen:

Interview Workshops at Alisal High School

Dear Community Representative:
A great way to “give back” to our community is to assist high school students succeed by participating in one-on-one “mock” interview workshops at the Alisal High School Career Center.  The workshops are required of all seniors through their Government/Economic classes.  All materials, facilitation, and training are provided, along with refreshments.  We just need you!

You can “Google” Alisal Interview Workshops to read about them on the internet!

We are looking for interviewers who want to help high school seniors develop interview skills.  The workshops are a lot of fun, and have been mutually satisfying for the participants.  Alisal High has presented these workshops for over 10 years, and has received positive feedback from the students, teachers, and community and business representatives...  Many students have said that the interview workshops “are one of the most valuable experiences they have ever had.”  Interviewers have returned year after year, stating that they “get as much or more out of the workshops than the students do.”

Jim Bracher, founder of the Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership, was a recent participant.  He commented in his The Salinas Californian column, “Integrity Matters:”

“The observable impact on student-participants was remarkable. Young people sit face-to-face with successful community leaders, presenting their credentials, asking for a job offer and then absorbing specific recommendations on how to improve their interviewing skills.”

This year, over 500 seniors will have the opportunity to develop their interviewing skills because of your participation.  Community based interviewers make it a “real world” learning activity.  Your coaching, comments, and encouragement result in immediate and significant improvement of interviewing skills from one round to the next.

Why is this event popular with professionals throughout Monterey County?  The students want your coaching.  They want you get to know them, one-to-one.  The students come professionally prepared dressed in formal business attire, with career portfolio in hand.  They are ready to meet you!

The two hour time commitment produces a life-long learning experience for the students and many satisfying memories for the interviewers.

To participate in a future Interview Workshop, email: Marc Rosen today at:  -We are seeking interviewers for next fall and spring.

Thank you so much for helping our students to become successful contributors to our community.

Marc Rosen, Counselor
Regional Occupational Program (ROP)
Alisal High Career Center
Alisal High School
777 Williams Road
Salinas, California 93905
Email:  -

Marc’s team provides tutorial guidance, including these sample questions:


These are 18 commonly asked interview questions.  They can be role modeled, practiced in small groups, and evaluated.  They fall into four categories:
                                                - personal information about each student
                                                - what each interviewee can offer the company
                                                - what these “mock” candidates already know about the job
                                                - general information

The purpose of the interview, as introduced to each student, is to “sell yourself” to the employer.  It is your only opportunity to persuade the employer that you are the best person for the job.  What can you do to maximize your chances?

 1)        Tell me something about yourself.   (answer in 3 sentences)

 2)        What are some of your strengths and skills?  (state as many as possible)

 3)        What are your weaknesses?  (and how do you plan to overcome them?)

 4)        Why should we hire you for this job?  (at least 3 reasons)

 5)        Describe a big challenge you have overcome or accomplishment you have experienced.

 6)         Where do you see yourself in five years?  (doing what?)

 7)        What work or volunteer experience do you have?

 8)        What recommendations can you provide?

 9)        What type of work do you like to do?

10)        What machines or equipment can you operate?

11)        What salary do you expect?  (careful!)

12)        What are your goals?  (in high school and beyond high school)

13)        What do you know about our company?

14)        Why do you want to work for us?

15)        Are you looking for permanent or temporary work?

16)        Are you willing to move out of the area?

17)        What do you do if you have a problem with a co-worker?

18)      What questions do you have for us?

Now for the life-changing part:  upon completion of your interview with each student, you are the able to provide direct and immediate feedback on how effectively the individual handled the process and offer ways for the person to do even better – which each interviewee is enabled to do – in real time, while you and others are still on-site to help.


Please discuss and evaluate (IN WRITING) the following interview skills.
Score 1 to 10 in the margin if you would like.

  1. Greeting and introduction--Eye contact, handshake, pleasant smile and attitude
  2. Speech--Volume, word choice, clarity, confidence, no slang, proper grammar
  3. Appearance--Clothing, grooming, including makeup, hair, fingernails, jewelry
  4. Eye Contact—Natural, consistent
  5. Body Language--Hands, eyes, feet, posture, smile
  6. Listening--Lean forward, show interest, ask clarifying questions, listen carefully
  7. Answers--Complete, to the point, convincing, no excuses
  8. Questions--Ask appropriate questions of employer
  9. Exit--Leave with a “thank-you” and handshake.  Follow-up with note and phone call
  10. Portfolio—Complete, neat, spelling and grammar

Once again, thank you, to each of you for caring enough to support Executives-in-Residence and our Pay It Forward Scholarship program.  And, yes, if you live within an hour of our Monterey County location, please sign up.  If you live elsewhere, let us know what you know about encouraging youth to learn; enabling us to better leverage what we already know; offering your own suggestions.  Learning can be “forever” for those willing to listen.  And, we are eager to learn – so, please, share your input.


Jim Bracher
James F. Bracher
Dimension Five Consultants, Inc.
Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership
P.O. Box 22467
Carmel, California  93922

James F. (Jim) Bracher,  Director
Executives in Residence
Foundation of CSUMB 
California State University Monterey Bay 
100 Campus Center,  
Building 201 - Suite 101
Seaside, California  93955
Phone:  direct:  831-582-5038
Ruby Sanchez (831) 582-5015
(831) 582-5019 Fax

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