Mock Interviews – helping prepare guests for work

By Sam Forsdike | April 15 2019

Mock Interviews – helping prepare guests for work

Blog Category: General updateBlog Tags: Education and Education

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    In our Jobs Club we are supporting our members through every step of finding a job, from setting goals to preparing for an interview.

    When someone is offered an interview this is something to celebrate! However, the hard work is not over as now you have to use the interview to make a case for and present yourself.

    Having worked at C4WS for two years now, it only became clear to me over time that while on the surface we are helping guests with writing CV’s and applying for jobs, what we are actually doing is raising their confidence to match their wide range of skills. The same applies for the interview as well.

    Interviews can be overwhelming and distressing, and oftentimes people are ill-equipped to handle these situations properly. It is even more difficult to deal with for people who have been out from work for a while or whose confidence is really low due to the recent trauma of becoming homeless. There is no one answer about how to do an interview. On the contrary, you have to learn a lot about yourself, and often the interview is a way of doing that.

    For the last four years, C4WS has been privileged to offer mock-interview sessions to our guests with the help of IPG Mediabrands. The idea is very simple: volunteers from IPG Mediabrands do three or four rounds of interviews with our guests in one afternoon. We prepare our guests beforehand and supply them with suits and clothes, so they can take the interviews as seriously and realistically as possible. IPG Mediabrands then complete a detailed feedback form about their performance for C4WS staff to go through with guests at a later date.

    On a very personal note, when I went to my very first Mock Interviews session along with a bunch of nervous shelter guests I was quite dubious how that afternoon would play out. My biggest concern was that the whole interviews situation and the very professional and shiny environment of the IPG Mediabrands office could put too much pressure on our guests, rather than help them to realise their own potential.

    Luckily, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Our guests might felt overwhelmed at their first round of interviews, but after each subsequent round they were able to reflect on their session and quickly prepare for the next one, reviewing their answers and performance. At the end of the afternoon I could only see big smiles, people being happy and upbeat, and an evidence for the need of such a service.

    Since then I have been to many mock interviews sessions, and I feel privileged to be with our guests and observe the process of them getting more confident within such a short amount of time. Now I can only advise everyone to come to a session and that this is definitely one of the best tools to raise self-belief and to help people realise their assets.


    Laszlo Balla, Project Worker

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Sam Forsdike