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Podcast: Students job interview ready

In today's podcast episode we visit Bundaberg State High School where students got job interview ready in a mock session.

With the support of council's Jobs Commitment Program, employers from around the district put the Year 10 cohort through mock  interviews.

The session was designed to simulate ready world job hunting, complete with tricky questions and resume feedback.

You can also listen on Google, Apple, Spotify, TuneIn or your favourite podcast app.

Podcast transcript

Gennavieve Lyons  00:07

Hello and welcome to the Bundaberg Now podcast brought to you by the Bundaberg Regional Council. I'm your host Gennavieve Lyons and on today's episode we hear about a great initiative at Bundaberg State High School to get students ready for job hunting. Together with council, Bundy High invited representatives from around the region to hold mock interviews with Year 10 students. The students prepped and planned, and headed into the interviews for a taste of what job hunting is like in the real world. Adele More went along and spoke to the Head of Department for VET Jo McGrath about the initiative.

Adele More  00:42

So thanks for having a chat with me today, Jo. Can you tell me a bit about what's going on here at Bundy High?

Jo McGrath  00:47

So every year we hold mock interviews for the Year 10's. And it's an opportunity to get all Year 10's the chance to be interviewed by employers and to get some feedback in a situation where it's a practice session for them. So it helps them to work through their nerves and get some really great feedback before they actually step into a you know, a real job interview.

Adele More  01:11

Great. So who's here interviewing them today?

Jo McGrath  01:15

So we have a range of employers from Council, we also have TAFE involved in the process. And we have, we've got a range of businesses here to support the kids, which is wonderful. And they're giving some really great feedback, which the kids can take on board and can actually, you know, make improvements in their next interview.

Adele More  01:42

Great. So a lot of the kids here would never have done an interview before?

Jo McGrath  01:45

Most of our kids are looking for work. But you know, some have scored employment, which is wonderful. But many are still in that cusp of learning what they want to do, and practicing and getting ready for that job interview. And that means putting together resumes and cover letters.

Adele More  02:00

Great. So we're teaching them a bit about that today as well?

Jo McGrath  02:03

Absolutely. And I think the kids are getting a real big insight and wonderful feedback from the employers.

Adele More  02:09

Great. So how did this all come about?

Jo McGrath  02:11

It's just looking for what we can do to better support the kids into employment, because I feel that our job is to help the kids in their pathway. And for many kids being able to score work after school actually gives them skills, you know, that they can actually use and will help them all throughout their life. And as they move into different roles in the future.

Adele More  02:33

So what kinds of tough questions are you hearing out there today?

Jo McGrath  02:38

Well, I actually prepared the kids by giving them a list of questions is just another most common interview questions that you can find and, and a lot of kids struggle with the simple question is, so tell me about yourself. And this is an opportunity for them to actually do some rehearsal at home and come in and really look at how they can actually sell themselves and the suitability for the role.

Adele More  02:59

So this is a council initiative with Bundy High that's been going for a while?

Jo McGrath  03:03

So we started this pre council, the initiative, but we've always had the support of council throughout every mock interview opportunity we've had.

Adele More  03:13

And what's the feedback from the kids?

Jo McGrath  03:16

Look, the kids are actually quite chuffed, you can see as they walk out with the smiles on their face, that they know that it's actually been a really good opportunity for them. There's a big difference from walking in and quite nervous and not knowing what to say they've been coming out and beaming on your face. And you know, talking to each other, “oh how did yours go?” And they're actually sitting down now doing the reflections after the interview. So this is a good opportunity for them to share what they thought with others and look for areas that they can actually improve on.

Adele More  03:43

Perfect. Oh, well, thanks so much for having a chat.

Jo McGrath  03:45

And thank you very much.

Gennavieve Lyons  03:47

Next, Adele spoke with Nicole Gow, HR business partner for Bundaberg Brewed Drinks about what she was looking for in the mock interviews.

Adele More  03:55

So what are you doing here today?

Nicole Gow  03:58

I'm doing some mock interviews with the high school students at Bundaberg High.

Adele More  04:03

Great and what kind of questions are you asking?

Nicole Gow  04:06

I'm asking them to tell me a bit about themselves getting them comfortable. And then once they have told me a bit about themselves, so I look at their strengths, their weaknesses, what they're looking to do once they finish school, and then yeah, see what job that they have inspired for themselves.

Adele More  04:23

So with Bundy brewed drinks, what else do you guys do to give back to the community? Obviously, things like this?

Nicole Gow  04:28

Yeah, definitely. I think this is really important because we've got quite a few jobs that we have that come and go. And it's really important to keep everyone coming through the community into into jobs like these one.

Adele More  04:42

Are the kids nervous?

Nicole Gow  04:43

They are doing pretty well. They're doing excellent. I think there's there's a bit of a mixture, you get some that are really confident and then you get some that just need a little bit of work, and that's why I really enjoy to be able to put forward and give my advice to them.

Gennavieve Lyons  04:57

Nicole Seesink is a student at Bundy High and was hoping the mock interviews would give her an insight into job hunting.

Adele More  05:03

You've had a couple of interviews this morning, how did they go?

Nicole Seesink  05:06

They went very well, actually, I was prepared. And I feel like I gave it my best.

Adele More  05:12

Right. So what were some of the tricky questions you got?

Nicole Seesink  05:15

Perhaps the questions about my greatest weaknesses, because it's always, you can't straight up say that you stress too much, or you put so much pressure on yourself to work hard, you really need to think outside the box and find something that'll grab the eye of the person you're talking to.

Adele More  05:33

And what kind of work do you think you might be interested in the future?

Nicole Seesink  05:36

I'm definitely interested in my career in law, it's been something that I've been working hard for for a while.

Adele More  05:42

So planning on going to uni?

Nicole Seesink  05:44

Yes, absolutely.

Adele More  05:46

Perfect. So I guess this will kind of help you get a job while you're at uni?

Nicole Seesink  05:50

Yeah, I plan on getting a job at a legal firm while I'm at uni, just to help support the law, like, have a job that supports my unique career that I'm working towards. Yeah.

Adele More  06:03

And did you feel like you really nailed any question? Like, what was your favourite question you got asked?

Nicole Seesink  06:09

Um, the question that I liked being asked was how why I was interested in law, because I really want to explain how I'm really passionate for it. And I just have a love for it. And I think that'll help me go far.

Adele More  06:25

Right. So what kind of lawyer are you interested in?

Nicole Seesink  06:28

Perhaps a defence attorney, because I think everyone needs a fair representation. And not you're innocent until proven guilty. So yeah.

Adele More  06:40

Great. So what's it like here at Bundy High, do you think that they're really supporting you as you think about that?

Nicole Seesink  06:45

Yes, absolutely. Especially Mrs. McGrath has set up these mock interviews is really helping us, like prepare for what's to come. And I had no clue coming to high school, like what I was going to do after high school, no idea at all. And it really set out the pathways for us, and we have a much better understanding of what we need to do. So we don't have to waste time figuring it out.

Adele More  07:06

Perfect. Well, thanks for having a chat.

Gennavieve Lyons  07:09

Ethan Hickey was nervous at the start, but soon settled in for a chat with his interviewer.

Adele More  07:13

So Ethan, you're a high school student here at Bundy High?  And how are you finding the mock interviews today?

Ethan Hickey  07:22

Oh, I was a bit nervous at the start. But like at the end, it was just pretty chill at the end.

Adele More  07:26

So what are the some of the questions you get asked?

Ethan Hickey  07:29

Um, tell me about yourself. You got any questions for me after it's pretty much about it? Bit of banter.

Adele More  07:36

So you found it pretty casual to have a chat with potential employees?

Ethan Hickey  07:39

Yeah, it's pretty casual. It's just a bit nervous at the start. But once you're into it, it's pretty chill. Yeah.

Adele More  07:44

Great. So what do you see in your future? Are you think starting to think about your jobs after high school?

Ethan Hickey  07:49

Yeah. Oh, yeah. I was thinking about being a disability support worker.  And, you know, this helps me a lot for when later on, I can go on an actual proper interview.

Adele More  07:57

Okay. And any really tricky questions you got to ask today?

Ethan Hickey  08:02

Oh, no, not really. I just mostly forgot what I was gonna say and stumbled on my words. That's about it. That's okay. I guess that's why we do practices. Yeah.

Adele More  08:09

Perfect. All right. Well, thanks for having a champion. Thank you.

Gennavieve Lyons  08:14

And lastly, Adele spoke with Georgia Herbener who said the mock interviews were a great way to prepare for the real world.

Adele More  08:20

So Georgia, you're a high school student?

Georgia Herbener  08:22

Yeah. I'm in grade 10. It's really getting us prepared for like the real world, getting us prepared to actually getting jobs and things like that.

Adele More  08:34

Have you ever done a real interview?

Georgia Herbener  08:36

Um, yes. I have a job currently.

Adele More  08:39

Perfect. How did you find that compared?

Georgia Herbener  08:41

Oh, I feel like the real thing, I think this it really sets you up for it. So if I compare this one to my real one, then it's really accurate.

Adele More  08:52

So you enjoyed having a bit of a practice?

Georgia Herbener  08:54

Yes, I did is really beneficial. Yes.

Adele More  08:57

And where do you see yourself going after high school?

Georgia Herbener  08:59

I would love to see myself in university down maybe Brisbane, something like that. Just got to keep my grades up at high school.

Adele More  09:08

And what are you hoping to study?

Georgia Herbener  09:09

I want to do science. And if I get a good enough score, at the end, I want to do medicine. But that's still a dream at the moment.

Adele More  09:18

So do you think things like this will help you just in day to day life having more confidence?

Georgia Herbener  09:22

Yes, it will definitely boost my confidence, learning my weaknesses, what I need to improve on and how to make my resume and things like that, like, stand out.

Adele More  09:31

So we're doing a bit of resume work today as well?

Georgia Herbener  09:33

Yes. So he looked through my interview, look through my resume and gave me some pointers on what he would do to change it and make it look even better. So for example, I referee basketball and the skills that come from that would really like to look good on a resume. So he said, maybe put it higher up so he can see it straightaway.

Adele More  09:54

Yeah, that'd be some great leadership.

Georgia Herbener  09:56

And yeah, I guess it's all about thinking outside the box.

Adele More  10:03

So do you find the Bundy High really supportive with like helping your career development?

Georgia Herbener  10:09

Yes, they definitely are. We have a whole subject for work studies, which helps us like, plan our future, what we think we might be doing. Help us with writing resumes. And of course, this mock interview is all part of that. And we're doing work experience in a few weeks at the end of this term, which will hopefully help us yeah. I'm going to the optical superstore. Yes, I'm really excited for that one.

Adele More  10:32

Is that kind of medicine related?

Georgia Herbener  10:34

Sort of, yeah. sciency. Yeah. And then talking to customers and things like that.

Adele More  10:41

All the best. Thank you.

Gennavieve Lyons  10:44

And that's all for today. I hope you enjoyed this week's podcast. Bye for now.

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