HR professionals and senior management from top South African businesses conducted mock job interviews with Grade 12 students from Christel House South Africa, to provide them with real-world interview experience. Hosted on by the non-profit school, Christel House SA, the annual event pairs students with an experienced interviewer to gain valuable interview skills. It is also a prime opportunity for businesses to scout the best and brightest young talent.

Guests agreed that the event is a great platform for students to gain invaluable insights into the real-world experience. “I interviewed two applicants who were slightly nervous but they did extremely well. The event is a great practical way to show students the interview process and I wish more schools would do this,“ said Liz Hillock, online and mobile director at Woolworths.

“This is such an exciting initiative. The Speed Interview event prepares students and ensures that they have the confidence to ace interviews and transition into the world of work. The two students I interviewed were phenomenal,” comments Busiswa Dayimani, innovation manager at DG Murray Trust.

“I had a wonderful morning with the students and wish that when I was at school, I was able to prepare for the transition from academics and education into the working world. I saw some amazing talent and wonderful individuals whose character shines through. It just gives me hope for the future of South Africa, “adds Michael Porter, managing director at RGA South Africa.

Real-world experience

To prepare students for their interviews, Estée Lauder Companies South Africa, Edgars/ Retailability and Nandos South Africa sponsored an image consulting workshop that offered students tips on how to maintain a professional appearance. Prior to the event, the Grade 12 students also had to prepare a curriculum vitae, a cover letter, research the company that was going to interview them, and were given mock interview scenarios before the event.

On the day of the event, the business representatives conducted 20-minute interview sessions with each student and provided them with constructive feedback on their interview skills. The school matched students’ career interests to partner companies that support the school, with a particular focus on technology, retail, finance, hospitality and other leading industries. For the first time this year, three current alumni who have just graduated from university were also interviewed.

Unique educational model

Much of Christel House SA’s success can be attributed to its unique character-based and career-focused educational model. The model emphasises the development of essential character traits, such as respect, responsibility, integrity and independence – all of which are deeply ingrained in the school curriculum.

This approach has proven to be incredibly effective in producing graduates who are not only competent professionals but also well-rounded members of society. The school’s 19-year educational program, from ages 4 to 23, also focuses on igniting students’ passion for a career and provides the stepping stones for students to achieve their career ambitions.

“Today, 93% of our alumni are working, studying or doing both. We understand that the theoretical aspect of education is just one part of preparing students for the real world. That’s why our comprehensive college and career planning support to our students, which starts as early as Grade RR, includes a series of regular events, job shadowing opportunities, and engaging talks by industry professionals. Our Speed Interview event has been running successfully for the past 5 years and we have seen the difference it makes in preparing students for the next phase in their lives,” says Louise de Marillac st Julien, Career Development Manager at Christel House SA.


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