Recently Collyer’s Level 2 Business students spent a half-day learning about interviews from Collyer’s governors Carolyn Watson and Hugh Stafford-Smith.
Carolyn and Hugh spoke to the students about the interview process and then put them through their paces with mock interviews.
Lucy Hargreaves, who helped co-ordinate the event as part of the college’s progression and careers work, explained: “The students had previously been given job descriptions and gone through the process of researching the company and job role, completing an application and submitting a CV and cover letter. After all the preparation and research, they were then put through the rigours of a mock interview.”
Using their extensive experience, the governors spent time with each student to talk through the concept of a job interview and after the mocks, they spoke to the students individually, to provide feedback on their performance and advise on areas they may wish to work on before seeking employment.
The feedback from the ‘candidates’ was very positive. Sophie Tidy said: “I have never been interviewed before and so was very nervous.
“Carolyn made me feel really comfortable and offered me lots of feedback on my strengths and weaknesses. I feel a lot more confident in going for real interviews now I have had this experience.”
Matt Chandler said: “It was very beneficial and taught me interview skills that I will need in the future. The advice was really good.”
Ceiren Cooney added: “I thought the interview was very helpful and should be used more often with students.”
Sophie Ward was also impressed: “Great experience. The governors were so helpful and gave great advice.”
During the day the students also gained an insight into an interviewer’s perspective, as Hugh and Carolyn gave top-tips about what they look for in candidates, how to stand out from the crowd and methods to build rapport.
Hugh Stafford-Smith said: “This is about making the best of the talent our young people have got and helping them develop it. All the students I interviewed today clearly have huge potential!”
Sally Bromley added: “Massive thanks to Hugh Stafford-Smith and Carolyn Watson for giving up their valuable time and helping the next generation.
“The students have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and through a practical exercise picked up a tremendous amount about the world of work.”
Lucy Hargreaves was delighted: “I am so proud of our students. They performed superbly and were keen to learn new ideas. They were dressed extremely professionally, forming a strong first impression with Carolyn and Hugh.
“ Well done to all of the students who took part today – if it were up to me, I’d certainly say to all of them: ‘You’re hired’!”
Report contributed by Collyer’s. Pictures by Lucy Hargreaves.