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20 February 2015
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Teachers: mock interviews

Mock interviews are an essential element in developing the skills and qualities needed by young people for their career planning and management. A mock interview can provide a realistic experience for the pupil and give employers an insight into education. Your pupils can use our online guides to create a curriculum vitae, complete application forms and prepare for an interview.

There is a lot of preparation involved in a mock interview programme so it’s vital to plan ahead.

Three months before the event

  • Are you going to commission an outside organisation to run the event or organise it yourself?
  • Identify the group of pupils who will be participating in the mock interview programme.
  • Agree a date/s for the interviews and organise letters of invitation for employers.
  • Estimate the number of interviewers that you will need. It is a good idea to use a panel of two interviewers and require them to conduct five fifteen-minute interviews with a five-minute feedback session at the end.
  • Send out letters of invitation to a wide range of employers and the Board of Governors. You should invite twice as many employers as you need - not everyone you want will respond, so you need to ensure you have enough employers to conduct the interviewers.
  • Are you going to hold the event during school hours or in the evening? An evening event will prevent disruption to the timetable, employers are more willing to attend and pupils will be able to dress appropriately for the interview.

Two months before the event

  • Tell your pupils about the event and ask them to identify the best interview night.
  • Ask your pupils to select a career area they are interested in. This will help you to match pupils with relevant employers.
  • Send a letter to parents informing them of the event and asking for their support.
  • Ask pupils to supply you with two copies of their CV, letter of application and/or completed application form (one copy for each interviewer on their panel)
  • You could use careers teachers or form tutors to help with the organisation and collection of these documents.
  • Prepare an Interview Preparation Pack and/or direct pupils to this site to prepare for their interview.

One month before the event

  • Collate replies for employers.
  • Create an interview schedule. Send one copy to employers and post a pupils' copy on the school notice board.
  • Design interview questions for employers.
  • Create a Pupil Interview Feedback Form that employers will fill out and leave with you after the interviews. This will help with debriefing sessions.
  • Send a letter to employers confirming their attendance. Include an Interviewers Pack, consisting of an interview schedule, all completed applications, Pupil Interview Feedback Form and interview questions.
  • Organise refreshments - usually tea or coffee on arrival and tea or coffee and sandwiches during an appropriate break in the evening.

Two weeks before the event

  • Ensure that the rooms are appropriately laid out on the evening.
  • Nominate certain pupils to show employers to the interview rooms.
  • Post interview schedules on your pupil notice board.

One week before the event

  • Organise a slot, perhaps during assembly, to remind pupils of the importance of the event and what is expected from them.

On the evening

  • Assemble the employers in a central location and ask your principal to welcome them. Highlight any relevant health and safety procedures.
  • Outline the format for the evening and ask the interviewers to return the Pupil Interview Feedback forms at the end of the evening.

After the Event

  • Write to employers and thank them for their time. If possible, include a small token of your appreciation - perhaps a copy of the school magazine.

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