Year 11 students from Longhill High School have been given the opportunity this week to take part in mock job interviews with managers from local business and enterprise organisations. In collaboration with Deputy Head Bill Holland, Careers Advisor Cordelia Dobby and Head of PSHE Hugh Garling, the whole day workshop has received a definite ‘thumbs up’ from the students who took part.
The aim of the programme is to give young people the experience and confidence they need to enter the world of work once they leave full time education. Guidance included topics such as interview techniques, questions that might be asked, how to evaluate their own skills and apply them to a particular job vacancy, the importance of time-keeping and appropriate dress, as well as how to conduct themselves in an interview situation.
Students were given a choice of ‘jobs’ to apply for: admin assistant, customer service advisor, hospitality apprentice, IT support analyst, personal trainer, teaching assistant trainee quantity surveyor.
Shauna found the experience was a confidence booster. “Now I know what to expect in an actual job interview. It made me realise that I don’t need to be as nervous because I am capable. Now I’ve done it once I’ll be fine. It was just getting over the nerves and it’s given me the confidence to do it again.”
Has she any thoughts on a future career? “I like doing things for people less fortunate than myself. I would like to work in a care home with adults or children with special needs. I’ve worked in a local soup kitchen with my family at Christmas, so I think I’d like to go into a caring profession.”
Justin was interviewed for a Teaching Assistant’s job. “They asked about my communication skills and then explained to me how I could apply those skills to different jobs. I was nervous at first, but they broke down the questions for me, which was helpful. They explained that it is good to be confident, but not to be cocky or to over-exaggerate things. They told me that my communication skills were very good and that I had pitched them just right. I found their feedback really helpful.”
Students Savannah and Justin said how much they had enjoyed the experience, and how they would recommend this activity to year 9 and 10 students as well as year 11. They found it very beneficial and think that it has prepared them better for what to expect, how to answer questions and how to present themselves in an interview situation, when you have “someone in front of you who holds the keys to your future” (Savannah).
Huge thanks go to Jonathan Burns and staff from One Family, Penny Daly from Coast to Capital, Laing O’Rourke Construction and Skills Training UK.