On Thursday 7 November Year 14 were given an introduction to the dreaded ‘interview skills’. While some of us have to attend interviews for university offers and others may be lucky enough to secure interviews further down the line in the world of work, Interview Skills Day was definitely a great benefit to everyone. The process really placed us in the reality of the closely approaching future. From Careers class we were given application forms to fill out according to our university course preferences or job aspirations, and they really were thorough. Even from that we learnt basic things such as completing it in block capitals, in black and organizing results in grade order; who knew that mattered?
We were told we would be assigned an employer and receive a mock interview after a presentation on how to succeed in an interview. Surprisingly the presentation on interview success was not only informative but in some instances hilarious and truly motivational. I don’t think any of us can walk away without saying we learnt something from it, even if it was just that getting into Medicine at Queens isn’t likely with an email address like JuicyLucy@hotmail.com . We are lucky enough to have a school that prepares us for this when many schools don’t give their students such valuable help. That being said, I wouldn’t put being interviewed in my top ten favourite pastimes and a mock interview was still a nerve-wracking experience.
The presentation did prepare us, considerably more than I expected, for the mock interviews and though I wouldn’t say I went in feeling confident, I did go in feeling a little more versed in what to expect, and due to the lack of perfume in school, I arrived smelling of air freshener just to make a good impression.
We were placed in groups with similar course or job interests and matched, where possible, with an employer in a similar field to us. I personally was placed with other students wanting to do English Literature along with students looking to do Law; History and Sociology and we were interviewed as a group by a Solicitor. She was much friendlier and less intimidating than I believe anyone had expected. She interviewed us individually and asked each one of the group to give one positive point and one criticism of the interview; therefore getting us to see different peoples’ approaches, learn from each other and experience the reality of the interviewing world. She gave us a great insight into her own experiences and career that really was invaluable. The interview was extremely useful because, although you can practise with your friends, parents and Auntie Jean, having an actual employer who has never met you before means it was very realistic.
Really what the interview Skills day did was demonstrate that there is a difference between school life and the world of work. The experience brought what we all tend to view as the distant future into a much closer reality and made us start to think about it in terms of how it relates to our academic goals and job aspirations. All in all it was a good day, we learnt a lot, panicked a lot, actually laughed a lot and gained a lot.