By Andrea Sologuren
What is your weakness?
Why do you want to work for us?
These are some of the questions Sheridan PR students answered during a mock job interview session with industry leaders on Nov. 26.
Everyone showed up in their best 9 to 5 attire, portfolios in hand, ready to impress potential employers.
We had applied for the hypothetical position of marketing and communications assistant. Employers came from various PR sectors – private, non-profit and agency – representing a range of industries, from entertainment to education.
Thankfully, we didn’t go in blind. We knew what to expect and even prepared for the unexpected. Nathan Mallett, program coordinator, covered job interviews in career management class a week in advance. He gave us insights on the dos and don’ts – even on how to dress.
“Mock interviews are essentially a dress rehearsal for the real thing. They let students test drive their face-to-face business with real industry professionals,” says Mallett. “Unlike in a real interview, students get feedback about what they did well and what areas they need to improve on. I think mock job interviews should be built into every program at Sheridan.”
PRCC student Kateryna Rudichenko agrees. “I found the whole experience very gratifying. Interviewers had good feedback and I look forward to using their advice in upcoming real interviews.”
The event finished with a brief Q&A and networking time. A valuable tip consistent across the panel: thoroughly research the company you are applying to and showcase your knowledge in your cover letter and interview questions.
Special thanks to the following industry professionals for making this happen:
- Writer, PR professional and parenting guru Samantha Kemp Jackson;
- Jay Millington from the OSSGA;
- Century 21’s Erin Palladine;
- Sheridan College’s own corporate communications director, Christine Szustaczek;
- Alex Fuller, marketing and communications manager for the Centre for Skills Development and Training;
- Jennifer Rideout of Strategic Ampersand;
- Kate Calder of Corus Entertainment; and
- Sarah McPherson of the Oakville Community Foundation.