University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton students found that interviewers can be meticulous and quite clever when it comes to selecting a new employee.

Representatives from several organizations in Central Arkansas participated in a panel discussion at UACCM’s “Step Up to Employment” event Wednesday, Nov. 7.

Jody Gatchell, owner of A & J Collision Repair in Conway, admitted to scheduling interviews at 7:30 a.m. as a test to see if prospective employees would show up to work on time.

Southwestern Energy representative Neil Morton said he looks for an interviewee’s nonverbal gestures rather than focusing only on what they say.

Several members of the panel offered advice on resume-writing as well. Jasmine Wilson of Hewlett Packard said, “Match your resume to the skills needed for the job you applied for; don’t leave it overly generalized.”

Other panel members, including representatives from Acxiom, Department of Human Services, and Crafton Tull, provided insightful information about interview skills, professional dress attire, and more.

Nursing students Hayley Jones and Amanda Turner found the panel discussion especially beneficial. “It’s nice knowing what they want on the front end,” Jones remarked. “The panel was very helpful.”

Turner added, “The panel was good… They gave insight on ways to help us prepare.”

This was UACCM’s second year to host “Step Up to Employment.” In addition to the panel discussion, the day-long event included a skit by UACCM faculty and staff portraying the right and wrong ways to prepare for a job interview, a lesson on dinner etiquette by Mr. Joe Arn, a formal luncheon at the UACCM Plaza, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities among attendees. Participants were also entered into door prize drawings for items donated by local businesses.

Andrew Agnew, an air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration technology major, enjoyed the breakout sessions. “I found the resume session most useful,” he said. The first of two sessions focused on specific ways to improve resumes, cover letters, and references. The second covered job applications, 30-second self-promotion, and interviews.

“Step Up to Employment” was coordinated by Rose Morton, Career and Transfer Coordinator for UACCM. “The program will better prepare our graduates for the workforce, and it’s such a privilege to be a part of a team that is willing to ‘step up’ and make things happen,” Morton said.

To find out more about UACCM’s Career and Transfer Services, visit and select “Career Services” from the drop-down menu.


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