Interviews Army Style

The back of a female student during her interview with Colour Sergeant McKay

This week students from the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) were joined by the Army to help with mock interviews as part of their preparation for employment.

A number of students got to test their interview skills with Colour Sergeant McKay, a Recruitment Officer from the 6th Battalion, The Rifles – Reserve Infantry Battalion based in Hereford. Colour Sergeant McKay was thrilled to be able to share his time and knowledge and said:

‘The transferable skills we expect from those wishing to join the Army are relevant for every walk of life. Skills such as good communication, working as a team, leadership and problem solving are needed in most jobs.’

Sophia Lloyd from the RNC Transitions Team was delighted to have the Army support the interviews, commenting:

‘Whilst our students will not be joining the Army, it is a great opportunity for them to practice in front of people from different backgrounds and with different styles. The more opportunities our students can experience, hopefully the more confident they will be in the real job interview situations.’

For many of the students, it is the first time they have been interviewed.

‘A lot of people including me, have never done this before, so to do it with a Colour Sergeant from the Army was a really good experience. I was a little nervous but this was really good practice, I’m so glad I was able to do this,’ said student, Will.

For Colour Sergeant McKay this was also a new experience:

‘It was impressive, hearing about the different challenges that many students here have to overcome. 6 Rifles draws its recruits from the local community here in Hereford, so it is only right that given the opportunity, we give something back. I am really impressed with the facilities on offer at the College, and of the students’ abilities, and I hope that we have been able to help support them in reaching their future goals.’

Sophia Lloyd thanked everyone for their continued support of the mock interviews including Gemma Lewis, HR Manager, from Services for Independent Living (SIL) in Leominster. This charitable company provides services that enable disabled and older people to live independent lives in their own homes within their own community. Gemma enjoyed meeting the students and hearing about their skills and interests.

In addition, RNC was pleased to have input from governors, volunteers and staff, all of whom were able to bring a wide range of backgrounds and recruitment experience to the process.

According to research from the RNIB, only one in four registered blind or partially sighted people of working age is in paid employment, and this number is falling. The Royal National College for the Blind has a curriculum where essential skills such as independent living, IT and transitional support are embedded into everyone’s timetable. This gives the students the skills they need as they prepare for work.

 

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