Sun Valley: Business representatives hold mock interviews for Sun Valley High School seniors
Thirty-four professionals from local businesses, alumni, and administration converged on Sun Valley High School on Thursday, March 14, 2019 to conduct “mock interviews” with graduating seniors who are preparing their path for the future. Members of the Aston Business Association as well as representatives from multiple fields including banking, nursing, law enforcement, real estate sales, human resources, law, education, technology and public health converged on the high school to meet and interview “prospects”. The nearly two-decade old program offers Sun Valley seniors the opportunity to prepare for the realities of the interview process. Students prepare a resume, cover letter, and personal statement that guides the interviewer toward appropriate questions related to the student’s goals. Interviewers assess the students based on their presentation, professionalism, and interpersonal skills. Kudos and encouragements, as well as areas for enhancement, are offered to help guide the students in their experience.
Superintendent Dr. George Steinhoff participates each year and is always grateful for the enthusiasm and support from local businesses and organizations that take the time to interview Sun Valley seniors. “Year in and year out community and business leaders volunteer their time to give advice and feedback to our seniors on their resumes, their interview skills, and their college and career plans,” he said. “It is an example of a fabulous school and community partnership, and another unique event that is super relevant for Sun Valley graduates to get ready for life.”
Professionally dressed and prepared, the students were matched as closely as possible with an interviewer that related in some way to their field. Senior Tommy Christaldi was grateful for the opportunity to experience a more formal interview experience. “The Mock Interview was a really great opportunity to practice valuable skills. I’ve never taken an interview that was quite so formal before, and as a pretty verbose person, getting to experience a setting where being concise was important was a challenge, but definitely one that I’ll learn from going forward.”
Evan Jackson, a former teacher, insurance professional and current Aston Business Association Mock Day Chair, has participated in the event for nearly 20 years and believes it is a great benefit to Sun Valley students. “It is a good dose of reality,” said Jackson. “By senior year the students should have a clear idea about the road they are headed on. This event could even be conducted for the younger students as well.”
Sun Valley High School Principal Patrick Sasse agrees. “We look forward to the Mock Interview Day at Sun Valley because it provides our seniors a ‘real life’ opportunity to look someone in the eye and explain their talents. Interviewing skills are essential for future success and we are so happy to be able to present this experience to our seniors in conjunction with the Aston Business Association, Sun Valley alumni, and Penn-Delco administrators.”
Georgia Stone, a lawyer for Stone & Stone in Brookhaven (and also a member of the Penn-Delco school board) participated in the event and enjoyed meeting the many seniors who interviewed with her. "I was impressed by the professionalism and preparedness of our students. They have big dreams and seem ready to take on the world. They make me proud to be a part of the Penn Delco community."
Margaret Kingham, Placement Director at the Williamson College of the Trades looks forward to this annual event and meeting the young adults who are ready to launch into their futures. "My greatest motivation for participating in the Mock Interview Day at Sun Valley is that I really enjoy getting to meet and talk to 'my future,'" said Kingham. "I’m always so surprised and delighted that these young adults are so focused and articulate about their plans for their immediate future and their long-term goals. My future looks very bright in their hands."
Dr. Steinhoff agrees. “I’m continually impressed with the intellect, drive, and communication skills of the students that I’ve interviewed through the years”.
Christaldi, who will be attending the University of Pennsylvania this fall for communiations hopes to be sitting on the other side of the table someday. “I always love seeing alumni and community members giving back to Sun Valley. Hopefully one day, I’ll be sitting on the other side of that table giving interviews, helping to educate the next generation.”