Careers Mock Interview Day

As part of our Careers provision, we invited all 210 Y11 students to attend their first professional mock interview with a visiting guest from the community. In preparation for the day, Y11 spent time during Touching Hearts lessons considering their responses to the questions we posed. We invited along members of our governing body, directors of the Newman Catholic Collegiate, local business owners and local MPs and professionals, we also had a number of past pupils in attendance who have gone on to have successful careers in recruitment or human resources.

It was a fabulous day, the atmosphere in the hall was so welcoming and the students thoroughly enjoyed the process – even though most would say they were quite nervous beforehand!

The questions included; How would your friends describe you? What values have you got that you think are important in a workplace? If you had the opportunity to volunteer for a role what role would it be?

Our visitors were extremely impressed with the eloquence and detail of the answers given and the care taken to greet them professionally. We also invited all Y12 and Y13 students to take part too, if they wished. Unanimously, our guest interviewers all said that they rated the experience as excellent and incredibly valuable for both them and the students interviewed.  There were some lovely quotes from our guests on the day… Dr Gillian Meller said, “The running of the day was extremely smooth and efficient. Interviewers were kept well informed of what was happening. All the students I saw were engaged and gave a very positive image of the school. A number of pupils explained to me what they gain from studying RE as a core module. I also heard very positive things about staff, those aiming to stay on for 6th form said it was because they were known by staff and had ‘the right team’ in the staff to help them reach their goals”.  Vicky Broad from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust said, “I think it was a great opportunity for the students to have the experience of being interviewed, and would be a very valuable one. I liked that lots of students were given the opportunity”.

“Students at your school were truly fantastic. Some of them took part in many extra-curricular activities and were able to demonstrate why this was important. I met many Year 11 students that had the skillset that we look for in a university application which they should be extremely proud of! I look forward to hopefully seeing some of your students at university in the very near future.” – Carly Outerbridge from Keele University. “It was my first visit to the school – every staff member I met on the day was extremely helpful and supportive. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to learners – they were all very engaging and keen to share their career aspirations and achievements.  Learners were well prepared and that there were prompts available for them on the day. Well done to everyone concerned in organising a brilliant day!” – Joy Brereton Wrexham University “The students were amazing! They really thought about how to answer the questions asked, they we’re professional at all times and spoke about the school really well” – Amy Howle & Suzy Ball Stoke on Trent College.

The students all said they enjoyed the interview and that the interviewers put them at ease quickly, Jack T said, “The preparation was a good idea, it told us what to do and some tips on what to say to make a good impression. It was amazing! Sell yourself to them, they want to know everything about you and try to have a normal conversation, ask questions too as it shows your interest. Before the interview I felt really nervous, during I was getting less nervous and calmer and it became more natural. After the interview I felt amazing, as it went really well.”

“It’s basically like a conversation, the better you can make the other person and yourself at ease the better the results would be and try to be natural. It’s only a big deal if you make it out to be one, that doesn’t mean it’s not important though, it is, but just don’t let it scare you.” Alisha A.

Georgia S, “the visitors were so nice which eased the nerves of speaking to them, they were very helpful and encouraging. We had a good idea about what the questions would be and how we are meant to answer them.  I had good feedback such as to give more details about myself and I was told how to link my answers to how certain qualities would help me when doing a certain job”.

We were incredibly proud of Y11 and the Y12 and Y13s who took part, they were an absolute credit to the school. They took the process seriously and gained so much feedback from their interview, which will stand them in good stead for future interviews. The enthusiasm and the sense of pride at the end of each interview was incredibly endearing to see, very well done from Mrs Page!