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Yr 10 World of Work Interviews 

Mock Interview Photo1While there has been some inevitable disruption to the opportunities we have been able to offer students over the past year, we were delighted to hold the Year 10 Mock Interviews again. This interview process is an integral part of the students World of Work careers programme, delivered in a cross-curricular way through a combination of Citizenship lessons and Personal Best Time. This programme aims to build self-awareness and confidence in students, enabling them to make informed decisions for their Post-16 pathway. 

The event was certainly very different this year; making these interviews virtual ensured the process actually provided a more realistic experience of the workplace today, which is undergoing a digital revolution.

Mock Interview Photo2The student interviews were based on their online application form which was submitted last month and the virtual interview provided them with the opportunity to practise new skills needed for an on-screen interview. Feedback from employers, colleges and universities suggests that screen interviews will continue and be the initial format of many future interviews. By embracing technological change as a Careers Team, and encouraging students to be ‘future-proof’, we aim to prepare students for the wider world after Ilkley Grammar School.  

Although many students initially considered this a potentially daunting experience, we were impressed and very proud of how they rose to the challenge with maturity. Taking them out of their comfort zone, but in a controlled environment, allowed them to develop their confidence and raise aspirations.

A few of the student comments;

  • “I actually really enjoyed that! It felt more like a conversation than an interview.”

  • “That was useful, I learned a lot.”

  • “I know to prepare more next time.”

  • "That is the most nerve-racking experience ever but I’m glad I did it.”

We have a network of long-standing working relationships with local and wider community employers, and are fortunate to have a such fantastic range and depth of talent to call upon to facilitate these interviews, ultimately giving students a very worthwhile experience. 

Our Careers Governor, Melanie Kirkbride once again invested her time by supporting these interviews, along with Stuart Hyde, IGS Business Enterprise Adviser who said, “It was an honour and a most rewarding experience to assist with the Mock interviews again. Having had my main career, it is so good to give a little back and help students have as real an interview as possible in a safe environment.

Interviewer Feedback has also been really positive. Deborah from the HMRC commented, “Really good morning; students were all focussed on the interview and what they were saying.”

And from some of the local employers:

Bess Sturman of Sturman Interiors, “Always enjoyable.  And I think a great initiative for students to experience.

Jonathan Wearing of Ison Harrison, “Congratulations on achieving what I felt was a very useful and worthwhile exercise in very difficult circumstances. Just as an observation – every one of the students I interviewed were superb and credit to the school. They would have all been offered the job!”

Sally Shelton of Clip ‘n Climb is both an interviewer and parent, “This was a heart-warming experience for me. All my interviewees really tried their best and managed all the additional pressures of doing everything online. Karen Mitchell and her team did an outstanding job to co-ordinate a whole year group to have the experience of a real-life style interview with real business people from Ilkley and surrounding area.

Richard Hayden of Sevensun and Ilkley BNI said,

I’ve offered one student some work, he’s got a great little business going.”

With virtual interviews comes social media publicity:

Mock Interview Tweet1Mock Interview Tweet2

Grateful thanks to the continued support and expertise provided by these businesses, which is greatly valued and appreciated:

Abbeyfield The Dales Armstrong Watson HMRC, Civil Service

Clip ’n Climb

Craven College
Dental Institute, Leeds University Freshfields Greensman Ison Harrison Solicitors Keighley College
Leeds General Infirmary RFU Right At Home Sevensun Stuart Hyde Associates
Sturman Interiors The Soft Road Zenith

If you are interested in finding out more about how you could support our careers programme, please email

Karen Mitchell, Careers Leader and the Careers Team

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