into rail Programme: Our ambassador supports mock interviews

Fawwad Kalim, Govia Thameslink Railway Service Engineer, reports on his recent experience supporting a mock interview session:

Mock interviews held at Thomas More Catholic School located in the hilly area of Purely provided a unique learning experience for the students aged 16-17. A stage in their lives where options beyond further learning are expanded upon.

Daniel Pitt, the assistant headteacher, invited the Young Rail Professionals to share life experiences and sharpen the resolve of the year 11’s a year ahead of crucial career decisions.

The day was organised and arranged as a first for the school, ordinarily outsourcing this activity. Despite this, the event ran smoothly and promptly according to time.

The morning brief to interviewers was informational and outlined the proposed day’s plan. Each interviewer was given a set of student names to interview, with their information being provided in a pack, containing, CV’s, covering letters, attendance records, volunteer feedback forms, student feedback forms and suggested interview questions.

Each interview session was capped at 30 minutes, including an opportunity for feedback informally. The students were mostly dressed in business attire and were keen to deliver their elevator pitches for potential future jobs.

Myself and the remaining interviewers were very impressed by the passion and knowledge the students shared. Strong rationale stemming from experiences in voluntary activities or family business endeavours.

The chance for receiving feedback was open to the interviewers also, some students complimenting on how the experience made them better understand the interview process and how to relax nerves. Additionally, the students took away a newfound appreciation for the value of dedication in finding a job they can claim to be their ‘calling’.

Lastly, this was an excellent opportunity to identify talent early on. Particularly for students who spoke to me directly about their passion for engineering and the railway. With the events the YRP are hosting, particularly Rail Week are helping diversify the knowledge within the industry and open up more learning opportunities.