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Each year, Highgate partners with a number of state schools to host a practise interview event for pupils preparing for university and careers.

This year, we conducted 253 mock interviews, with pupils from 13 schools across London. Over 90 interviewers took part, almost all of whom were Highgate teachers. A small number of teachers from Henrietta Barnett, LAET and St Michael’s Catholic school (Barnet) as well as an NHS consultant and two 4th Year medical students also pitched in. All interviews were conducted online to replicate actual interviews, over a period of 4 weeks ending on 3 December.

Dr K Agyei-Owusu, Science Teacher and Partnership Teaching Co-ordinator said:

“The Highgate Chrysalis Mock Interviews project is one of the most impactful activities that the Chrysalis Partnership is engaged in. It has been immensely gratifying to read the very positive responses that we continue to receive from pupils, parents/carers and schools who are all tremendously grateful for the quality of feedback given by our interview panel who provided interviewees with a tangible sense of what they are about to experience.

I am certain that each of our interviewees, if called to interview will feel more relaxed and confident having been rigorously prepared.”

The event took over 340 hours, which included admin, interview time and preparation time for teachers taking part. A Partner Pupil who attended explained how they feel they reaped great benefits: “It was a fantastic opportunity to be exposed to the format of an interview and forced to think on the spot. The feedback was really helpful and allowed me to self-reflect on my strengths and weaknesses. I’ve taken part in many similar programmes and none have been so well organised, I often had to handle the admin myself and this has run so smoothly.”

Parents and carers as well as pupils were pleased to see their teenagers get to hone their interview skills in advance of the ‘real thing’ in the new year when the bulk of universities begin to schedule meetings. One Partner Parent shared their thoughts: “Thank you for your time, we didn’t have a service like this when I was applying and it’s so helpful. It’s amazing for you to take time out of your day to help these kids improve themselves.”