On Wednesday 5 November 2014 all Year 14 girls participated in Interview Skills Day. Every year many young people never make it past the interview stage as a result of limited to no real life experience of interviews and little knowledge of how to conduct themselves in an interview situation. With many girls attending university and Higher Education interviews throughout the year and the imminent interviews that we will all face in the future, the skills and knowledge gained from this experience were sure to be vital.
The day was aimed at increasing our awareness of the planning and skills that are required for successful interviews. It began with an interactive presentation by Pat Jamison from Sentinus, where we were given the opportunity to present our future plans to our peers, learn about what an interview is, how to dress appropriately, the importance of eye contact and answering questions correctly. Along with these important aspects he also discussed the importance of working hard to achieve our goals in order to be successful and this was very motivational for us. We did an exercise whereby we detailed our experiences such as extracurricular activities and work experience and the skills gained from them in an attempt to learn how to market ourselves effectively and maximise our potential.
Once we had been given the invaluable information needed to complete a successful interview we were then given the opportunity to take part in a real life mock interview. Twenty-two advisers from various local businesses and organisations came to our school to take interviews with small groups within our year, e.g. Mr I Armstrong, a retired History and Politics Teacher, Shirley Moore from South Eastern Regional College, Natalie Noble from Tesco PLC and Mrs McIlwaine from First Trust Bank.
After taking part in our interviews, we were given feedback from the advisers, with positive and encouraging comments as well as constructive criticism. In combination with lessons learnt from our peers, we are now able to improve our interview technique to reach our maximum potential. We also were able to ask our interviewers questions about their own interview experience, the industry they work in, how it is developing and the skills and qualities needed to obtain a career in that area.
Overall this event was extremely effective in developing the crucial skills needed to have an interview that displays our ability fully and through this practical experience we now feel more prepared to handle an interview successfully in the future.
Natalie Mc Aleer