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Pupils develop interview techniques – as interviewers
As part of Canford’s pupil leadership programme, prospective teaching staff invited to interview meet not only relevant current staff but also current pupils. Not only does this give a more rounded insight and pupil perspective on a candidate and allow the prospective teacher to learn more about Canford academic life from the pupil perspective, it also enables pupils to learn about the interview process and how to make objective assessments as an interviewer, which will greatly help them develop their skills both for future university and college applications and for the world of work. Most recently, the Careers Department has used this initiative to select ten Lower Sixth boys and girls to form a pupil panel to interview prospective candidates for the post of Physics teacher on 6th February.
Prior to the interviews, all pupils involved attend a 75 minute training session on competency based interviewing, observe an actual interview via video link and practise assessing the candidates they observed. The latter is a prerequisite before they can interview a prospective teacher. The first interview takes place in the presence of at least one experienced pupil panellist from the previous year and all pupils taking part sign a document about observing Equality and Diversity law during selection. Pupils assess the candidates individually and a member of current Canford staff facilitates the discussion to provide a consolidated view, which is provided to the SLT as a key part of their decision-making process. The initiative has been co-ordinated jointly with The Bourne Academy, Canford’s academy sponsor school in Bournemouth, who have been successfully running a similar project for some time.
Michael Doherty, Head of Careers, says the process is extremely useful for all sides:
“Having the ability to conduct yourself in a confident, informed way in an interview situation is a very valuable skill. A positive interview can indeed shape your whole future. Our pupils are likely to experience many, varied interviews during their lives, so we believe it is important that all have the opportunity to understand what an interview situation entails during their time at school. This initiative runs alongside a specific interview training programme and practice sessions for those applying for certain courses at particular universities or degree apprenticeships, and if they want to join one of our Partnership trips or become a Pupil Leader, they take part in a formal application and interview process. There are also opportunities during our Lower Sixth Careers Symposium day, where pupils have the chance to meet and network with representatives from over 20 different industries.
The interview technique programme involving prospective teaching staff has been an excellent new development in this respect. It is fair to say that the candidates are often surprised to be interviewed by pupils, but they have also been very impressed by their professional approach. Their ability to question effectively is constantly improving, and their insights are proving to play a useful part in the recruitment decision-making process.”
To find out more about the work of the careers department at Canford, please visit the Careers page on the school website.