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Preparing for the next step: Interview Workshop

Ambitious Year 13 pupils set out to develop their interview skills in the workshop last Saturday, aiming high to secure places on the most competitive university courses in the UK.

The workshop was available for any Sixth Form pupils to have mock interviews, but was aimed at those in Year 13 applying for universities that were likely to require an interview, such as Oxford or Cambridge, as well as courses including medicine, dentistry and veterinary science that have an especially demanding application process.

With academic standards and expectations invariably on the rise, having the upper hand in an interview is key for the girls to be successful. Practising in a similar environment to the university meant pupils can get accustomed to the process and potential stress of being interviewed, as well as gaining valuable feedback on what they did well and how to improve.

Advice came from both internal and external volunteers, including staff and experts in fields such as veterinary practitioners, optometry, archaeology and midwifery. Each of the 50 pupils who attended had a 30 minute slot with one internal and one external interviewer where they evaluated the girls’ body language, ability to think of detailed and coherent answers under pressure, and their knowledge of their subject.

Alice, Year 13, is applying for Architecture and attended the workshop in preparation for the interviews she had already been offered. She commented afterwards, “I've learnt how to handle these kind of situations, including things I can take away and work on, such as that when going through my art, I find that I need to control my passion and make sure I'm giving the key points. But in the end, I received a lot of positive feedback to my surprise, and the questions ended up being different to what I expected, such as I never thought about the idea of the change of studying in an all girls school and having to then work in a male-dominated work space. In fact, this has encouraged me to have more mock interviews!”

Dr McGregor-Jones, Head of Sixth Form (Year 13) said, “The girls are normally very nervous and apprehensive beforehand as many of them have never been interviewed before. However, the buzz was amazing on Saturday morning and the atmosphere was very positive. It’s more than just a morale boost - the girls who have taken part not only have more knowledge of how to do well in an interview, but they also have more confidence in their own ability. As some girls already have interviews, including 2 at Cambridge University, the practice they had today will absolutely be beneficial.”

The pupils’ interview skills and self confidence have had a very significant boost since the workshop, and this year’s class of determined, ambitious girls are all set to take the important next steps to having their dream career.

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