A total of 69 volunteers from The Financial Conduct Authority visited Chobham Academy in Stratford, allowing over 200 students from Year 9 to Year 12 to take part in Mock Interviews. The chance to be interviewed by a business volunteer and to receive personalised and well-considered feedback afterwards is truly unique!
Interview technique is not something that we are born with; it is a skill that comes with practice and perseverance. The students from Chobham Academy were at a point in their educational journey where they would soon be attending interviews for work experience, college, sixth forms, apprenticeships, or leadership roles in school. With many of these opportunities, as well as future ones, hanging on the success of an interviews, the opportunity to practice this with a business volunteer before the real thing was extremely useful and encouraging for the students.
It has prepared me as in the future I would have a general idea of what types of questions I will be asked.Chobham Academy Student
Each student took part in a 20-minute interview with one of the volunteers from The Financial Conduct Authority. Although students knew that they would be attending an interview, they were not told which questions they could be asked. Students were asked about their skills, experiences, and plans for the future, and had to answer spontaneously –as if in a real interview!Following the 20 minutes of questions, students and volunteers had 10 minutes of feedback. The volunteers were able to give personalised bits of advice and exemplify this withtheir own experiences. All students were provided with written feedback as well, which they could take away with them to help prepare for future interviews.
I was given good feedback and am now able to know what interviews are like.Chobham Academy Student
After each interview, students were asked to what extent they agreed with a series of statements. 60% of students agreed that they had a ‘better understanding of employer expectations in relation to effective interview technique’. One student noted ‘I know what good body language is and that I have to be confident when talking.’61% of participants agreed that they had ‘learned how [I] can prepare more effectively for interviews’, with one student commenting ‘I feel I can now present myself better, and also know how to prepare more effectively.’
I thought this was a very worthwhile and enjoyable experience for FCA and it felt like it was for the students.Financial Conduct Authority Volunteer
Mock Interview events are a unique opportunity for students to work one-to-one with a volunteer and receive personalised feedback that they can use as they move onto future interviews and work experiences. Striking the balance between offering as many mockinterviews as possible, but also leaving sufficient time for the feedback afterwards is always hard, but these half-hour mock interviews are a brilliant starting point for students who have not had any interview experience previously.