By Tom Hanaway (@tomhanaway)
Wearing professional attire, portfolios in hand, and perhaps some butterflies in their stomaches, Journalism students sat down for interviews with some of the most prominent writers, PR professionals and advertisers in Wisconsin on Nov. 9 for the department’s mock interviews.
Mock interviews is an opportunity for Journalism students to practice their interviewing skills with real employers and learn what skills they need to improve on. This semester more than 20 students were interviewed by people from companies like Red Shoes PR, Coalesce Marketing and the Post-Crescent.
Barb Benish, Journalism lecturer and internship coordinator at UW Oshkosh, helps organize the mock interviews every semester. Benish said these kinds of interviews are essential for students so they can be fully prepared for post-college life.
“They offer journalism students a great opportunity to learn what they are doing right and wrong, before they graduate and apply for jobs,” Benish said. “Students receive invaluable feedback about their resume, cover letter, portfolio and interview answers.”
She said that mock interviews is a unique chance that only college students get to experience and learn from.
“It’s important since, once you graduate, employers aren’t likely to tell you what you did wrong and why you didn’t get a job offer,” Benish said.
Senior Monica Jazwiecki said the process gave her motivation to seek out employers and she now knows how to act during interviews.
“I would definitely recommend it, it’s laid back and gave me a lot of confidence to go out and finally start applying for jobs and internships,” Jazwiecki said. “I gained a lot of confidence in my interviewing and learned that if I relax, I make a lot more sense.”
Junior Samantha Strong said she received a lot of helpful advice through mock interviews that she never would have received otherwise.
“They gave me a lot of constructive criticism, which was hard to take at first, but I really needed it,” Strong said. “Barb also tore apart my resume, which was good, because it also needed it.”
She said she highly encourages all Journalism students to try out mock interviews to better prepare them for their future.
“I would absolutely recommend this to other students because it is a great way to practice interviewing,” Strong said. “Although it is sort of nerve-wracking before hand, I got a lot of great advice that I know will help me in the future when I am looking for a job.”
The next set of mock interviews will be Wednesday, April 6, 2011 from 2-5 p.m. Read the mock interviews pamphlet to learn more.