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Practice makes perfect: taking the stress out of interviews

Practice makes perfect: taking the stress out of interviews

At our November Interview Prep & Pizza event, nine professionals from three corporate partners introduced a group of young people to different job interview styles and techniques. A big thank you to our partners at Baringa, Destilled and AS Financial.

Sweaty hands, restless feet, a dry mouth… sounds familiar? Despite living in a digitalised world with lengthily application forms, video interviews and assessment centres, the classic face-to-face interview is still one of the most dreaded stages when applying for the job you want. Especially for young people the job interview can easily become a very uncomfortable experience; the smart dress feels a bit alien; the corporate environment appears intimidating; having to talk to people they’ve never met before. On top of that, there’s the pressure of actually performing well.

Recognising all these various factors our ‘Interview Prep & Pizza’ puts a positive and fun spin to the classic interview training. Interviewers come from a diverse range of industries and all have experience of HR and recruitment. This puts them into a great position to help our young people understand and tackle different interview styles; from traditional CV-based interviews, to competency-based questions, to creative interview approaches.

Each participant will go around the room completing multiple interviews. They have approximately 7 minutes to convince the interviewer that they’re the right person for the job before the buzzer jolts and they’re provided with instant feedback on their performance; feedback which they can take away and instantly try to implement at the next table.

If you are interested in becoming part of our professional network that exists as a positive role model to individuals we support at Drive Forward whether through interview practise or our other activities, please get in touch.

Next Week: Giving Tuesday

Next Week: Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is an annual global campaign giving everybody the chance to do a little something for the causes they care for. Funds donated to Drive Forward Foundation next Tuesday will support our activities including our weekly Tuesday Lunch Club.

Every Tuesday afternoon, Drive Forward run Lunch Club, our drop-in careers session for young care leavers. We sit down together for a hearty, home-cooked meal (by one of the Drive Forward staff members), before spending the afternoon searching for jobs, writing online applications, working on CVs, cover letters and preparing for upcoming interviews. Each week, we welcome professional volunteers to come and chat with our young people, share their own careers experience and offer advice and support with their job applications.

In line with Drive Forward's ethos, Lunch Club is about a lot more than just providing career support to individuals; it is about creating a sense of belonging and family.

Michael – follow your dreams

Michael – follow your dreams

My life in care began at seven years old. For the majority of my childhood, I thought that the more I lost the less I had to lose, but thankfully that mind-set began to change when I was placed on a farm. I loved working hard and being outdoors. But my life changed again when I was given a council flat in uptown Bromley; leaving the countryside, my family, and friends behind. I felt lost, had no job, and no money. You often hear people say that they’re “so broke”, so I guess I must have been on another level. Using food vouchers and nicking toilet roll was part of my daily routine, but definitely not my idea of ‘living’ let alone independence.

I was sent to Drive Forward with the expectation that they could help me improve my situation. I wasn’t in a place to be asking for ‘my dream job’. I wasn’t in a place to rock up to an interview in a smart suit. The place I was in was cold and lonely. But it’s the pure dedication of the people at Drive Forward that made wonderful things happen for me. I went to training sessions, listened to inspirational talks, and got interview prep. But the people at DFF continued to do more; including decking me out with a proper suit and tie and getting me a haircut. I liked that crisp and clean look. It gave me confidence and it made me feel like I had a reason to wake up. With Drive Forward, I got to go and work in places that were inspirational and amazing!

After a while of working with them and people constantly telling me how I can achieve more, I finally felt confident enough to reach for my dream job which was with the army.

Read more about Michael's journey and his experience upon joining the British Army on our website: