Mock interviews, real results

Mount students learn interview secrets from the professionals
February 23, 2017

Mock Interviews 2017

Brian Powers ’04, MBA ’12, vice president of Business Development and Marketing at Judelson, Giordano & Siegel, CPA, PC, interviews Brian Lopez, an accounting major from Newburgh, N.Y., during the Mount Career Center’s Mock Interview Week.


Professionally dressed and with portfolios in hand, Mount Saint Mary College students recently had the opportunity to practice interviewing with local employers during Mock Interview Week.

The annual event was coordinated by the college’s Career Center. Nearly 20 employers came to the college to interview almost 60 students.

“This gives students a chance to practice their interview skills with real recruiters, so they have an opportunity to find out what they can do to strengthen their presentation,” explained Janet Zeman, executive director of the college’s Career Center. “They get to practice and find out from the interviewers what they can to do improve.”

Sherida Bryce, a senior nursing major from Newburgh, N.Y., interviewed with Mount alumna Nichola Watkins ‘05, RN, MA, of Veterans Administration Hudson Valley Healthcare System.

“I wanted to see what kind of questions I might be asked in a real registered nurse situation,” she explained, adding, “The Career Center has been helping me out since I was a freshman.”

Zeman helped Bryce land her first certified nursing assistant job in her freshman year and an internship this past summer, Bryce revealed. Bryce is thankful that through Mock Interview Week, the Career Center is also aiding her in obtaining her first job as a college graduate come this May.

Brian Powers ’04, MBA ’12, vice president of Business Development and Marketing at Judelson, Giordano & Siegel, CPA, PC, was one of the local businesspeople who volunteered to interview Mount students. He offered them plenty of helpful advice.

“The number one thing students should always do is be prepared,” he said. “With the current state of the internet and social media, there is no excuse not to know everything there is to know about your interviewer and his or her company. It will absolutely give you the upper hand in an interview and it shows you went the extra mile.”

He added, “Always look the person in the eye when shaking their hand.”

Mock interview sessions also featured the following employers: Fernando Ahumada, business development manager at Middletown Community Health Center; Denise Atkinson, senior talent acquisition specialist at Crystal Run Healthcare; Christine Berté, assistant professor of nursing, co-chair of the Mount’s School of Nursing, and director of the college’s graduate program in nursing; Marguerite Eberhard, assistant director of service coordination at The Arc of Orange County; Ohiro Oni-Eseleh, director for Adelphi University School of Social Work Hudson Valley Center; Chris Fiorentino, intermediate school principal of the Highland Falls Fort Montgomery Central School District; Jessica Gardner, president of Media Solstice Marketing and Public Relations; Maureen Halahan, president and CEO of the Orange County Partnership; Johnnieanne Hansen, assistant corporate secretary at Walden Savings Bank; Steve Israel, former reporter for the Times Herald-Record; Kurtis Kotes ‘02, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, personnel and technology at Goshen Central School District; Barry Lewis, executive editor of the Times Herald-Record; Don Presutti, technical manager, Fox News; Lisa Silverstone, executive director of Safe Harbors of Hudson; and Stephanie Tanurdzic, IT helpdesk manager at Hudson River Healthcare.

The Career Center prepares students for varied career opportunities in the Hudson Valley, New York City, the Capital Region, and beyond. Each semester, it hosts programs such as job fairs, events featuring specific academic programs, business dining etiquette, interview and search strategies workshops, and off-campus professional visits to help pre-professionals explore career paths.