Learning about Careers by Interviewing Community Members

Format
Let's Talk Science

How does this align with my curriculum?

Students will create career profiles based on interviews they conduct with community members.

Summary

  • Students will broaden their knowledge of career options by learning about a diverse array of career paths
  • Students will learn more about individuals’ unique career paths, experiences, and contributions
  • Students will develop communication skills by conducting interviews with community members about their careers

Setting the Stage

Gaining exposure to a diversity of career options allows students to consider careers that they might previously not have known about. Students may primarily have knowledge about the careers of their close family members and friends. Learning about other career paths may help them consider new professional goals and interests. Additionally, conducting interviews gives students a deeper understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities of different careers. By having a conversation with a community member, students practice communication skills and build appreciation for different careers.

Students will explore career profiles on the Let’s Talk Science careers website and identify information they feel should go into a career profile. Then, students will participate in a whole class interview with a community member. Finally, students will conduct their own interviews with a community member of their choice and create career profiles based on what they learn. 

Materials & Preparation

  • Access to the Let’s Talk Science career exploration page
  • Computers or tablets with internet access and the ability to video call if interviews are being conducted virtually (1 per student or small group)
  • Career Interview Questions Reproducible (2 per student) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Access to the Let’s Talk Science Career Profile Submission Form (optional)

Note: Before Part 2 of this lesson, teachers may want to connect with a community member who can participate in a whole class interview about their career (either virtually or in person). 

What To Do

Part 1: Career Profile Exploration

  • Teachers could begin the lesson by asking students what careers they know the most about and record a list of responses. Teachers could ask students where they get information about these careers. Students may say that they know people with these jobs, such as their families, neighbours or others that they frequently interact with. 
  • Teachers could clarify for students that we often know the most about the careers of people that we interact with often. During this lesson, students will have the opportunity to learn more about careers of which they are less familiar. Teachers could share with students that they will learn more by exploring career profiles and then interviewing someone to create their own profile.
  • Teachers could show students how to find career profiles by displaying the Let’s Talk Science career exploration page.
    • Students could scroll through profiles and randomly click on profiles, or profiles with job titles they find interesting, to view.
    • Alternatively, students could filter by educational pathway, location, or school subject. 
  • Students could read three to five profiles independently or in small groups. 
  • After students have explored some profiles, teachers could lead a discussion about the components of an informative career profile using the following guiding questions. 
    • What did you notice when exploring the profiles?
    • What was the writing style of the profiles? 
    • What made some of the profiles more engaging or interesting than others?
    • What types of questions were being asked of the interviewees?
    • How can you use what you’ve learned to help you create an informative career profile?

Part 2: Whole Class Interview

  • Before this part of the lesson, teachers will have connected with a community member who is willing to speak to the class about their career virtually or in person. Teachers may want to provide the community member with the questions ahead of time. 
  • As a class, prepare for the interview by reviewing the Career Interview Questions reproducible. Teachers could remind students of the components of an informative career profile and discuss communication skills, such as how to ask a question politely or listen respectfully. 
  • Teachers could model proper interview etiquette by asking the questions on the Career Interview Questions reproducible. Alternatively, teachers could assign specific questions to different students ahead of time. Students could take notes on their own copies of the Career Profile reproducible. 
  • Afterwards, teachers could lead a debrief of the interview using the following guiding questions. 
    • What did you notice about the way the questions were asked? How did this help us learn more from the interviewee?
    • What was our class doing to show the interviewee that we were interested in what they had to say?
    • What should you keep in mind when conducting your own interview?

Part 3: Independent Interviews

  • Individually or with a partner, students could select an individual to interview either virtually or in person. Students may ask a community member, family member or other trusted/known individual if they are willing to answer some questions about their career.
  • Students could be encouraged to find someone working in a job that they don’t know much about to broaden their knowledge about different careers. 
  • As they conduct their interview, students use the Career Interview Questions reproducible to guide their questions and record notes. 
  • After the interview, students may share their career profile in a variety of ways. Options include one or more of the following:
    • Submission to Let’s Talk Science through the Career Profile Submission Form (with permission of their interviewee)
    • Classroom, small group, or school presentation
    • Creation of a class career profile book
    • Electronic compilation
    • Creation of a podcast or video profile of their interviewee

Details

Assessment

  • Teachers could assess students’ knowledge of a new career and creation of an informative career profile using the Career Interview Questions reproducible and whichever sharing method was selected in Part 3.
  • Teachers could assess students’ communication skills based on their engagement during interviews and participation during class discussions.

Assessment

  • Teachers could assess students’ knowledge of a new career and creation of an informative career profile using the Career Interview Questions reproducible and whichever sharing method was selected in Part 3.
  • Teachers could assess students’ communication skills based on their engagement during interviews and participation during class discussions.

Downloads

Career Interview Questions Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]

Downloads

Career Interview Questions Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]