Mock Interview Evening a “resounding success”

Published on 18 April 2017

Mock Interview Evening a “resounding success”

Vandyke Sixth Form students were put under the microscope by managers from IKEA, Milton Keynes recently, as they experienced first-hand the demands of an industry style interview. The Vandyke-IKEA Mock Interview Evening was a huge success and left co-organisers Sean Downey (Director of Sixth Form at Vandyke) and Anthony (Charlie) Browne (IKEA UK and IE Sustainability Change Manager) delighted with the benefits both the students and the interviewers gained from the event.

Students were invited to apply for specific positions within the company during an interesting and lively presentation on the IKEA organisation delivered by Charlie and Head of Human Resources (MK), Tanya Hamilton. After reviewing applications 15 students were invited for interview and were  provided with training and tips from Charlie, who visited the school to run a session the students  described as “inspirational, challenging and fun”.

On the evening, seven IKEA managers contributed to the interview process and students were clearly nervous as they arrived dressed to impress! Students had a thirty minute interview and were then provided with detailed oral feedback on  their strengths and areas for improvement. They will receive full written feedback shortly and the students who impressed most will receive in-business experiences at IKEA with potential job offers for those who were particularly impressive.

The IKEA managers were hugely impressed with the students who they described as “a great credit to the school”. A particular strength was the students’ understanding of global issues such as sustainability and ethical sourcing, as well as their ability to articulate their responses and ideas with passion, clarity and credibility. 

The feedback provided by the students was hugely positive. Grace Waller said “This was a very enjoyable experience which I would recommend to  anyone. I now feel confident and prepared for my next real interview.” Michelle Machekera was thrilled that she had participated in the scheme believing it had given her “a real boost in confidence” and taught her “to grab all opportunities with both hands”. Joe Brown thought it was a “hugely valuable experience” and concluded that he “would definitely be less anxious the next time I face an interview”.

“These opportunities for students are invaluable and are a key component of our Careers Education programme for our Sixth Form students" said Mr Downey. "It is important that students develop a wide range of employability skills whether they intend to go to university or into employment at 18. Working directly with business and industry is arguably the best way to provide opportunities for students to develop these important skills. I would like to thank   IKEA for their inspirational support for our students and look forward to developing a range of other employability projects with them in the near future”,he added.