Posted by: soroptimistnewhaven | February 16, 2012

Job interviews workshop a big hit at IRIS!

On February 7th, SIGNH conducted its fourth and final workshop with the women of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven, made possible by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s Fund for Women and Girls. The purpose of the workshop was to teach basic job interview skills, focusing especially on professional body language and greetings. Our members used a series of humorous skits to illustrate the do’s and dont’s of interviewing, and had some great fund in the process! Though there were four interpreters working hard to accommodate the roughly 15 or so women present–translating into Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, and Tigrinya–the frequent eruptions of laughter during the skits illustrated that humor can oftentimes be universal across cultures. By the end of the evening the women were comfortably shaking hands and greeting each other in a round robin exercise to make sure we all got some much needed practice on showing confidence as well as respect.  We then enjoyed the wonderful homemade dish of biryani that an Iraqi woman had cooked for us all, filling four large trays! I think I speak for all SIGNH members who participated when I say that I left that night feeling totally blessed by the warmth of the women’s hospitality toward us and the enthusiasm with which they engaged in the exercise. Their collective vivacity and graciousness really blew me away.

If anyone is interested in getting more involved with these wonderful ladies, IRIS has a ‘community host’ program that connects local people with re-settled families to be a local resource and friend. And I know they are always looking for additional volunteer hosts. I promise you that for as much time and energy you give, you will walk away feeling doubly rejuvenated!

~Dana Karen

SIGNH President

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