Sixth formers from The Cavendish School were given hints and tips about entering the world of work in a workshop run by an online job website.
For the second year running, online job firm Foosle worked with students at the secondary school on Warners End Road in Hemel Hempstead.
The teenagers were given a masterclass in CV writing, applying for jobs and how to conduct themselves in interviews to boost confidence in their employability.
Building on the success of last year, the programme introduced students to video interviewing – a trend that is becoming increasingly popular with employers and recruiters in the UK.
As part of a simulated job application students embraced the recorded interview, where they were asked a series of pre-set questions to answer on video.
This was followed by a day of face-to-face interview practice where nine local employers including Rothamsted Research, Dacorum Borough Council and Marks & Spencer gave up their time to hold mock interviews with the students and shared feedback to allow them to learn and improve their skills.
Headteacher Sarah Lansley: “Given the success of the enterprise last year, we were delighted to have Foosle and the team back for another month of building career skills.
“All of the students were really engaged and learned a lot from the experience, and particularly seemed to enjoy the video interviewing exercise, as well as getting an insight into local businesses.
“The initiative provided a good opportunity for students to understand how searching for jobs can be exciting, and equipped them with plenty of skills to put into practice when they leave school.
“It was great to see how enthused and confident the students were as they left their interviews. ”
Year 12 student Katie Kay said: “Doing a video interview felt a bit strange at first – it’s so different to being face-to-face with someone! I think having the opportunity to practice was really useful and I now feel much more confident at the prospect of going into a real life job interview.”
Fellow sixth former Jake Waterfield, also in Year 12, said: “Taking part in the Foosle initiative has been a really good experience.
“I’ve enjoyed it and feel as though I’ve become much more familiar with the whole process of successfully finding a new job.”
Alistair Rennie, Foosle’s managing director, said: “Technology already plays a central role within recruitment and we’re currently seeing more and more employers becoming attuned to the benefits of using video interviewing to hire candidates. “Taking part in any job interview is nerve-wracking, what was evident was that the next generation of jobseekers feel comfortable with using this sort of technology and understand how to use it successfully to their advantage.
“Giving these students the opportunity to practice and do a ‘dry run’ before they enter the job market is invaluable for building confidence; an essential part of securing the job that they want, whatever the industry.”
Stephen Laidler, from Rothamsted Research – an employer that took part in the day – said:“This is the fourth year in a row we have participated in this event.
“It’s a great way for students to place themselves in a real life interview situation and many of them have thanked us for all that they have learnt.
“Our experience of working with the students is very rewarding for all concerned and it’s great to be able to support this annual event.”