TOYOTA TRAINING SESSION PUTS SURREY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN THE INTERVIEW HOT SEAT

The formal interview is one of the most daunting prospects facing any young person looking to start their career, or make the move from school to college or university. Toyota GB has stepped in to provide some practical tips and advice for a group of students, helping them build their confidence and presentation skills.

A team of nine volunteers worked with year 10 students at the Beacon School in Banstead, close to Toyota’s Surrey headquarters, guiding them through a lifelike interview process. This included the submission of CVs, a 15-minute interview, a personal feedback session and a follow-up report on each candidate for the school.

Kathryn Donohoe, the school’s careers co-ordinator, said the realistic scenarios were ideal preparation for the interviews every student will face during the coming year.

“Being able to practise their skills and be able to make mistakes in a safe environment is essential,” she said. “Students enjoyed participating in the programme, despite being taken out of their comfort zone. The Toyota staff were professional and supportive, offering positive feedback while also highlighting areas for development,” she said.

The students’ response was also very positive: “It really made me think about my future and what I need to do to achieve my goals,” said Kennedy Davis. “The volunteers were understanding and really friendly, I would recommend it 100 per cent to other students.”

Courtney Benham-Knell added: “I found it very useful and think it will really benefit me in the future when I have a real interview that matters. The volunteers were very helpful, took their time and answered any questions I had.”

It is the second year that Toyota has supported the initiative, its involvement reflecting its commitment as a business to support the local community. At the same time as the Beacon School students were learning new skills, the Toyota volunteers were gaining a better understanding of how they can make a positive contribution to society.

Alan Jennings, Toyota General Manager, Corporate Planning and Corporate Social Responsibility, said: “We were really impressed with the way the students responded. We hope that we have been able to help these young people understand how an interview works, and how they can use the opportunity to present themselves and their abilities in the best possible way.”

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