Sixth Form Interview Skills Day – a Big Success at Ballymena Academy

The selection process for new employees has changed dramatically over the past number of years.

For many jobs the old process of filling in an application and getting an interview has been replaced by multi-stage Assessment Centres that can last a full day or even several days.

To prepare pupils for such important events, Ballymena Academy worked with educational consultants, eye4education, to run a multi-stage Assessment Centre for year 14 pupils. The event, which took place on 18th October, replicated selection procedures used by many employers by enabling pupils to experience its various stages : Application; Aptitude Tests; Group Assessment (where pupils are observed as they worked as a team to complete tasks) and last but not least – Interviews.

Over 20 business and professional volunteers from organisations and companies all over Northern Ireland put the pupils through their paces culminating in the one-on-one interviews and feedback sessions.

This experience will be extremely beneficial to pupils when they are confronted by selection procedures – whether it be interviews for university entrance or employment. A sixth form pupil commented, ‘ it was a demanding day, but very worthwhile. I learned so much from the experience and really feel as if I have a much better understanding of selection procedures and how best to prepare for them.’ In his welcome the Principal , Mr S. Black, thanked all participants for giving of their expertise and time in helping to prepare the sixth form pupils for the world of work. Ballymena Academy places great emphasis on developing pupils’ employability skills and it is heartening to see so many representatives from business, industry and various professions contributing to such an important and worthwhile event.