Mock interviews give Saddleworth pupils valuable experience and skills

SADDLEWORTH School pupils have gained valuable interview experience and skills thanks to mock interviews with several local firms.

Furniture components specialist Hill’s Panel Products (HPP) were among the businesses’ volunteers staging the interviews with the Year 10 students.

Christine Dempster, Saddleworth School’s Business and Careers Lead, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for our students to build on their communication skills and confidence, while allowing them to develop their experience of an interview.

Student at Saddleworth School during mock interviews

“I can’t thank our volunteers enough for their time and support. Just seeing the students’ faces when they arrived back at the briefing room spoke volumes. Clearly they enjoyed the process.

“Thank you for sharing your knowledge, and in many cases giving them the boost and confidence they needed to realise they can achieve.”

HPP’s Marketing and Business Development Director Dan Mounsey – a former Saddleworth School pupil – and HR Manager Carole Hamnett-Sadler conducted eight interviews each.

Dan said: “Year 10 students are at the stage where they are starting to think about their futures after taking their GCSE exams.

“Whatever options they choose – from sixth form, college, employment or apprenticeships – they are likely to be invited for an interview, so this helps them prepare for the real-life situation.

“We saw a whole spectrum of candidates, from some who were visibly nervous, to some very poised candidates indeed.”

HPP has a history of commitment to the community and to education, skills and training at all ages and levels.

It recently gave carpentry and joinery students from Oldham College a glimpse into the world of manufacturing with week-long work experience placements.

Carole added: “While we were primarily at Saddleworth School to help the students, HPP is a significant employer with a wide range of career opportunities across various ages, levels and disciplines, from manufacturing, warehousing and logistics to financial accounts, IT, website development, sales and marketing.

“We have school-leavers, college-leavers, apprentices, and graduates. We also offer in-housing training and external training opportunities.”

HPP serves the national kitchen and bedroom fitting industry, and supplies over 6,000 products including its own brands of doors and cabinet components.

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