Simone Kidd Outside Newfield School in Sheffield
Newfield and Talbot School in Sheffield
Simone Kidd has been helping local school children hone their interview skills.

Most kids leave school with next to no experience of interviews. Yet as a business owner, I know the importance of being able to think on your feet, handle pressure and deal with the unexpected.

As someone who has lost count of the number of interviews I’ve conducted over the years for roles at Algar Air, I know how important it is to get exposure to the interview environment. Even though you may not know exactly what questions will come your way, it’s important to get some familiarity with the process, and the tools and techniques that can help you through it.


On the spot

That’s why I was at Newfield School in Sheffield recently, conducting mock interviews for year 11 (15-16 year old) students. I was one of a number of local business leaders from a wide range of sectors who were there to put several standardised questions to students and evaluate their responses.

We asked students to talk about themselves for a minute. We asked them to explore their strengths and weaknesses and to tell us something interesting about themselves. Initially, you could see how alien it was to be put on the spot like that. Then, you saw them warming to the challenge and it was brilliant to hear them find their feet and discuss their hopes and aspirations with confidence.

Newfield and Talbot School Hall


Supporting our community

This was my second year of mock interviews (I was initially roped in by a friend who’s a member of staff) and I must confess it’s always a little nerve wracking. You never quite know what or who you’ll face. It’s also massively rewarding, and it’s great to feel that you may have helped someone – even if only in a small way – take their next step to college or an apprenticeship.

This year, for the first time since I’ve been interviewing, I found myself sat opposite someone I knew would be perfect for Algar Air. We might just be in touch with them. But that’s an unexpected bonus. Why I really do this is because we’ve been part of the Sheffield community for decades, and it’s important for us to give a little back.

If you’re a school or college in South Yorkshire looking to connect with local engineering firms to help build insight or experience, contact us or call 0114 243 2347.

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