Some Oswego High School students got a jump on honing their interview skills Wednesday at the OHS Media Center. Dozens of local professionals volunteered to conduct mock interviews to help prepare students for college and job interviews.
OSWEGO, NY – Oswego High School students got a taste of real job interviews Wednesday as a variety of local businesspeople questioned the teens.
Professionals from banks, unions, law enforcement, the armed forces and several other fields put the students through their paces in mock job interviews in Oswego High School’s Media Center.
The professionals said they were impressed with the way the students handled the situation.
The program has been conducted for the past several years, and is designed to allow OHS seniors to get a real world work experience with interview techniques.
They were extremely poised and mature, said Pete Myles, director of personnel for the Oswego City School District.
“They interviewed very well. They have a good idea of what they want to do what they need to do to get there,” he said.
“I want to become a psychologist or a mental health councilor. I’d consider working in a school, like a school psychologist or a social worker,” Gabriella Castiglia said. “The interview was really nice. I’ve never had like a real full job interview. My previous one was like ‘oh, your mom worked here for a while – you got the job.’ So this was a lot different, but it was nice.”
There are a lot of opportunities in the filed that she wants to go into, she said, adding that “the need for school psychologists or anything like that is very high right now.”
It’s been going “very well,” said OPD Lt. Charles Searor. In some cases, the students need to build confidence, he added.
“The confidence level in some of them isn’t quite there. They carry on a conversation, but kind of look all over the place,” he said. “I told them to look at the person, don’t stare right through them; but if you’re looking at them, engaged, it portrays that you have confidence in yourself. Body language speaks volumes, too. This is good that they do this. It gives them a little bit of experience and relaxes them for the real thing.”
“I did a real complete interview and (the student) did very well. I gave him a lot of feedback,” said Tammy Elowsky of the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations. “This is a great event. It gives the students the experience and confidence they need when they actually go out in search of a job.”
Nearly three dozen local professionals were on hand throughout the school day to interview the students.
“We really appreciate them coming in and helping our students,” teacher Ed Stacy said. “We have had very good results from these events. We hope the students get the experience of interviewing with people, possibly making contacts, networks that will help them in the future.”
“We just want students to get into a better comfort zone when it comes to interviews because it can be very stressful,” teacher Ben Richardson said. “It’s good for them to get the positive feedback here.”
Kara Weiss said her interviews went “very well.”
“It was just like a real interview,” she said. “The interview is a good experience. It shows you what you have to do and the interviewers have been very helpful, too.”