Rotary members in Wrexham have been giving their time and expertise for 17 years to help young people take their next, important steps in life.
The Mock Interview Experience, created by Wrexham Erddig Rotary Club, is intended to give pupils more familiarity, practice and confidence in presenting themselves well at upcoming interviews for employment or further education.
Since the project began in its current format in 2002, over 12,000 year 11 pupils have received mock interviews, with Rotary members giving over 2,500 volunteer hours to make the project a valuable one for the young people who take part.
The interviews allow pupils to be tested on their communication, ability to answer questions, presentation skills as well as giving an opportunity to have their CVs critiqued.
Trefor Roberts, a member of the club and Mock Interview Coordinator explained, “The award of a National Lottery Grant in 2002 provided us with the finances to develop the materials: an interviewer’s guide, core questions, pupil assessment form and a Guide to Your Next Interview document. All these ensured a more professional and consistent approach to the process.
For some 16-year-olds, the thought of attending an interview can be somewhat overwhelming.”
“The Mock Interview Experience is not intended to be job or career specific. The intention is to develop the interviewee’s responses and ability to present themselves in the best light to impress the interviewer.
“Feedback to the interviewee is an important and integral part of the process.”
The project continues to grow, with assistance also coming from members of Wrexham’s three other Rotary clubs as well as Careers Wales.
In fact, it is not unusual to have up to 30 interviewers in a room at once for the three hour sessions.
This success has led to the club winning the Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Vocational Service Cup for 2018/19, which recognises the outstanding use of occupational skills by Rotary members and clubs for the benefit of others.
The feedback given really boosted by confidence for future job applications and interviews.”
Christopher Wilkinson, Headteacher at one of the participating schools, St Joseph’s Catholic and Anglican High School, commented: “I cannot stress enough the benefit [the pupils] get from the process.
“For some 16-year-olds, the thought of attending an interview can be somewhat overwhelming, whilst others may underestimate the importance of that first meeting when applying for jobs.
“To be able to meet a professional person for the first time in this setting, where their CV, hopes and ambitions are discussed, is invaluable.”
Feedback from pupils has been extremely positive.
“It was a wonderful experience” explained one participant. “The feedback given really boosted by confidence for future job applications and interviews.”
“The mock interview day made me understand not only how to improve my CV, but also social skills such as eye contact.” said another.
The concept is one which has gathered significant attention around the world with clubs across Great Britain and Ireland and the United States adopting the Mock Interview Experience in their own communities.
More information about the Mock Interview Experience, including access to resources, can be found on the Wrexham Erddig Rotary Club website.