While you’re not ‘meant’ to have favourites, when I get the list of schools and academies that we can volunteer at – I always see if I can do Ken Stimpson. We have been volunteering there and helping their students for at least 5-6 years. The students are always open to the opportunity and the teachers are always grateful.

As you will have seen in our previous blog post, we did mock interviews at Ernulf Academy and we had a brilliant time. Fast forward two days and we mock-interviewed at Ken Stimpson too.

There were ten questions that, as interviewers, we had to ask the students when we mock-interviewed at Ken Stimpson. These including questions about them, their future goals, problem solving and their greatest achievement. All ten questions were the standard questions you would expect in a ‘real life’ interview. This meant it was a really good learning experience for the students.

I just wanted to share one of my highlights of the day with you. I interviewed a lovely person. They joined the interview claiming to be very shy and their answers were brilliant. From the very get go this person shone with confidence, was proud of their achievements and genuinely blew me away.

At the end of the interview was a chance for the person to hear their feedback. I said I could mark them out of 10 for communication and asked what they thought I had marked them. They replied, ‘3 or 4’. I responded with ’10’. I explained that they spoke about their challenges positively. While I referred to them as challenges, the student covered the challenges matter of fact way. In a way that said this is what I am and this is how I deal with it.

I was so impressed with this person. But that wasn’t my highlight. The interview finished and we said goodbye. The student thanked me for my time, then turned to the teacher and shouted, “I got a 10 for communication and 9 for body language”. The teacher replied “See, I told you not to be nervous!”

I was so pleased that I could have made someone feel this way. I hope they remember that feeling when they have their first interview in real life.

Then the feedback email came from the school and it said the following:

“I’m sure you agree that mock interviews are one of the most valuable activities we can offer our students in helping them to prepare for life after school. The feedback from the students is also fantastic with over 90% stating that the interview helped with their confidence.”

I was so pleased to hear this feedback. Interviews are scary times for everyone, but hopefully, through people volunteering, like me, we can make it a little less scary for everyone in the future. So, we have now mick-interviewed at Ken Stimpson and Ernulf Academy. Next week we are doing the same for Longsands Academy.

If you’d like to volunteer with local schools in your community, please let me know. I will happily put you in contact with Growth Works or Ken Stimpson.