14 November 2017

Now that our final year is upon us, it is essential that we feel fully prepared and ready to approach our future in the outside world. With this in mind, over the last few months we have been writing our CVs and Personal Statements with the help and guidance of our teachers. We used these documents to promote ourselves in our mock interviews last Tuesday.

In the final weeks of Year 10, Mrs Paul highlighted the importance of being prepared for the future and the importance of CVs, personal statements and improving our interview techniques. After we were well informed, we started to gather information in order to create a strong Personal Statement and CV. When we had collected a sufficient amount of evidence, we began to write our personal statements in form time with the help of our tutors. Every other week, each form was assigned to a computer room and we gradually developed documents that would help us in our upcoming mock interviews. Writing a CV and Personal Statement has enhanced our knowledge of the skills we possess and will also benefit us in interviews in the future. 

When these documents were complete, we compiled any certificates and evidence that represented our achievements, and put them in our Personal Profile booklet, alongside our CV and Personal Statement. Our Personal Profile was then put to good use in our mock interviews. Being encouraged to start early has given us large amounts of time to perfect our personal profile, which will in turn serve us well in the future.

Alongside learning to present ourselves well on paper, we also learned different ways to present ourselves well in an interview situation. A few weeks ago, we attended a useful session where Tim Rowbottom (The Department for Work and Pensions) and two ladies - Lindsay Napoli and Hannah Franklin from Greater Manchester Higher,  taught us the skills of how to stand out as a good candidate in an interview. They taught us many different techniques, one being the ‘STAR’ model. This is a method that really helps you to display your skills and experience in an interview. This session really benefited me because I learned how to be confident in an interview without being concerned that I sounded too arrogant. Everyone found this session really useful and they are grateful for it, because it helped them to portray themselves as confident individuals in the correct manner.

On Tuesday 7th November, many experienced people from industry gave up their morning to interview the whole year group in a mock interview situation. Immediately following the interview, we were also given honest feedback and critiques that I am certain will be valuable to us in the future.

Although I was fully prepared in advance for my interview, I was still nervous knowing that I had to create a good impression and present myself well. Knowing this, I thought about the different advice and techniques that I had learned in previous sessions and this enabled me to feel more confident. As soon as I started speaking, I felt settled and self-assured as I was fully prepared for the questions that he asked. When I was in the interview I felt very comfortable because it felt like I was just having a conversation and not like I was in a pressurised situation. This enabled me to feel more relaxed and to speak more positively about myself, especially when flicking through my personal profile. The feedback was extremely useful, as my interviewer told me not only my strengths, but also ways to improve so that I can adapt further when doing my next interview. I am very appreciative of this opportunity as I feel like I have learned a lot and will feel more confident walking into my next interview. I haven’t heard of anyone who didn’t enjoy the experience or see anyone walk out without a smile on their face, and I am positive that everyone will gain from the experience.

From starting the preparations at the end of Year 10 to completing my mock interview, I have always felt extremely supported and assisted by the school. Mrs Paul, the Head of Careers, has been fully engaged with our year group and has provided us with large amounts of encouragement and guidance. The whole experience has been tremendously beneficial and has helped me in preparation for my future outside of St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School.

by Yasmin Costello, Head Girl