We are constantly assailed in the press and other media by comments from employers that students coming out of universities today are not prepared for the world of work.
It is not uncommon for derogatory comments to be made about the poor performance of students at recruitment interviews (and assessment centres) relating to such issues as poor self – presentation e.g. men do not wear business suits, a tie and even when they do wear a suit it will be accompanied by a pair of trainers.
As for the young women, comments are made about the inappropriateness of their appearance from very short skirts, low cut tops and heels that make it almost impossible to walk.
The concept of wearing a “business suit” seems to escape many of them completely.
With all of this in mind Bradford University School of Management in conjunction with the Careers Service have developed a programme that tries to address some of these issues.
For the last three years I have been participating in their programme, which has involved conducting “mock interviews” as well as running “mock assessment centres”
Last Monday I was one of a large number of employers who gave up their time to conduct interviews then give feedback to individual students (this was the first day of four scheduled to take place in the next four weeks).
The first day went extremely well, the standard of the students performances were an improvement on last year and the feedback from the students was that they had found the experience “stressful but extremely constructive.”
The feedback they received was very honest ranging from comments about their appearance, how they spoke, structure and content of answers and generally how they managed the interview process.
All students were asked up to six questions in the following categories:-
- Motivation for choosing degree course and academic institution
- Competency based questions
- Self marketing and capacity to analyse what they had to offer an employer
It is a pleasure to participate in such a well thought out and organised programme and it goes to show that some universities ARE trying to prepare students for transition to the world of work.
The team that developed and run the programme are:-
Elaine Dean BEng(Hons) MBA
Careers, Alumni and External Relations
+44 (0) 1274 234329
Debbie Adams BA, DipCG
Careers & Employability Professional
Bradford University School of Management
Career Development Adviser
T: 01274 234993