Rotary Corner: A helping hand for a working life

Rotary Club members help with a mock interview day at Nene Park Academy.

Rotary Club members help with a mock interview day at Nene Park Academy.

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Rotarians know good interviewing skills are vital for young people whether they are applying for a university place, a job after leaving school or even a Saturday job.

Members of Peterborough Ortons Rotary Club were delighted therefore to be invited for a fifth year to assist with mock interviews at Nene Park Academy.

Mary-Helen Shakespeare from the club organised these over several evenings in January.

A total of 110 Year 11 students were interviewed.

The team of interviewers comprised 18 Corporate Members of the Institute of Personnel and Development, as well as Rotarians, with some attending all three nights.

They came from all areas of business; financial services, retail, housing associations, the law, sport and the services.

The quality of interviewing was exceptionally good this year.

Professionals who interview daily were able to give lengthy verbal and written feedback to the students. The school and the Rotary club greatly appreciated the time and effort these interviewers gave to the students.

The school was well prepared for these interviews and the evenings went off very efficiently.

Feedback from the students seemed to be very positive. Although nervous at the beginning most came out smiling and said that they felt it had been very beneficial.

Of the students rated, the interviewers decided that they would shortlist by far the majority of them with only a small number declined.

A good proportion of them would have been offered the job outright.

It is a great credit to the students and the school that almost all were rated as having good appearance, confident approach to the interview and clear spoken English. Virtually none were rated poor.

A selection of comments made by interviewers were : “A smiley person who gave good eye contact and reacted well to criticism”, “A good candidate who understands next move”, a positive and great communicator”,

“It was a pleasure to meet ….. She was confident and an achiever.

She is well organised, and a list maker which will stand her in good stead.”

All the Human Resources professionals felt it was a worthwhile exercise. Some offered to help further with the paperwork and perhaps pass on some techniques to help in an interview.

As ever the interviewers tried to impress on the students that the key to make it through to the interview stage is to present quality paperwork.

Most pupils gave a good account of themselves. Overall the exercise was a continuation of the year on year improvement.

Mary-Helen believes the overall standard of students was better than ever.

Rotary and the school hope to continue to work on the exercise together to give an even more rewarding experience next year

- A weekly round-up of news and views from Rotary clubs in the Peterborough area: www.rotary1070.org.