Students step into the hot seat
Published 2 April 2012
Students are facing a competitive marketplace so the University of Brighton helped to improve their chances of getting a job by arranging a unique interview competition to develop their employability skills.
The University Interview Challenge, hosted by the university's Careers Service last week, aimed to help current students prepare for when they graduate. As well as gaining practical insights into the interview situation, from application through to interviews and presentations, the session allowed the students to get feedback from representatives of local and national businesses.
Nigel Mabvuure, Vicky Davis and Ed Bending
The students involved had to first apply for a mock job, with the top 32 being selected for interview and the chance to win one of three cash prizes up to £200. From this group a further eight went on deliver a presentation to a daunting panel of 14 employers who deliberated long and hard over the eventual winners. They were fourth-year medical student Nigel Mabvuure, who scooped first prize; final-year product design student Vicky Davis who came second; and Ed Bending who is doing a masters in geographical information systems and environmental management who came third.
Three students who didn't win any of the main awards also received a prize by being "scouted" by three of the employers who participated in the event. These three students have been asked to maintain contact with the employers with a view to possible employment.
Alex Webb, Employer Engagement and Events Coordinator, who organised the event said:
"One of the things our students often ask us for is advice about improving their interview skills. Many won't have had any experience of competency-based interviews and so we designed this event, to help them prepare for the whole process – applications, interviews and presentations. The students really took it seriously, using this opportunity not just to practise their skills, but to network with the employers who came."
Catherine Fry, from FDM Group who sponsored the event and was also an interviewer at the event highlighted the value it offered students: "I think it's an excellent experience in a safe environment to get exposure of the kind of questions than employers are actually going to ask graduates. We had a couple candidates today who had never done a competency-based interview before and the questions actually threw them a little bit - but this is the perfect environment to do that in."
More information about the Careers Service can be found at www.brighton.ac.uk/careers.
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Contact: Marketing and Communications, University of Brighton, 01273 643022