Tom Long recently proved he knows how to stand out in a pool of job applicants.

Long, a senior at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach and Eastern Suffolk BOCES' Edward J. Milliken Technical Center in Oakdale, beat out 40 students to win "Nail That Job," an Eastern Suffolk BOCES competition that requires teens to test interviewing skills. To win, Long survived two rounds of interviews with a panel of judges in February.

"I was able to turn the interview into a normal conversation rather than a question-and-answer," said Long, 17, who won a $100 college scholarship.

The first round consisted of questions that required students to describe themselves, explain achievements of which they are most proud and what they would do if a co-worker was behaving in an unethical manner, Long explained.

The second-round questions asked students to describe the qualities they seek in a boss, how they handle stressful situations and why they are the best fit for the fictional job.

"This practical experience . . . prepares them for the world of work," ESBOCES' work experience coordinator Cathy Muller said of the students.

Long said he plans to study health and human performance this fall at SUNY Morrisville.

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