(L-R): Kari Veno (Halton Health Care), Kendra Nicholson (Steam Whistle Brewing), Alison Burke (Impressions PR), Nathan Mallett (Sheridan PRCC coordinator), Michelle Titus (Environics PR), Janelle Eade (Joseph Brant Hospital) and Liz Luzza (Praxis PR) pose for a photograph after the panel discussion at Sheridan College. Missing: Sgt. Barry Malciw (Halton Police) and Christine Szustaczek (Sheridan College)

[By Nikk Kadbet]

On November 28, Sheridan PRCC students relished the opportunity to participate in mock interviews with established professionals in the field. Public Relations professionals from Environics Communications, Halton Health Care, Halton Police, Impressions PR, Joseph Brant Hospital, Praxis PR, Sheridan College and Steam Whistle Brewing helped to create a fun, engaging and informative experience for the students.

Accompanied by a panel discussion after the interviews, students received general and personal feedback certain to help them in preparation for their next interview. Here is the part one of our key takeaways from the day’s proceedings:

Memorable Key Messages
Every candidate has strengths. Interviews are tailor-made for candidates to highlight the strengths that set them apart from the rest. You should aim to mention your key messages within your first three responses. Simply put, what are three things you want the interviewer to remember you by? Identify them beforehand, work them into your responses and make a lasting impression.

“Everybody has them. Use them!”
Using your professional portfolio can be the difference between a good interview and a great one. Referencing your portfolio is a great opportunity to take control of your interview and highlight experience directly related to the question on hand. Liz Luzza of Praxis PR notes, “Don’t let the conversation sidetrack you from your plan. Work in your portfolios to provide the evidence that reinforces the key messages you chose to highlight about yourself.”

Personal Dynamic & Presentation
Dress to impress as appearance plays an important role in leaving your mark. According to Sgt. Barry Malciw of Halton Police, “What you project outwards is very important because it displays who you are.” Additionally, body language, eye contact and confidence are all part of your personal dynamic as well. Malciw adds: “If you’re confident and I know you’re switched on, the belief in yourself shines. People can see it.” However, there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Know the difference. Alison Burke of Impressions PR notes, “Have a dynamic, be persuasive and make your mark!”

Tune in tomorrow to read Part Two of our mock interviewer’s insider tips.

(Photo by Nikk Kadbet)