• York Rotary

Preparing students for interviews

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

stock photo (not from our Mock Interviews)

Eileen writes...

For some years, York Rotary Youth Services Team has offered late Autumn mock interviews for university applicants and take-up has been steadily growing. However, this year we made a real push to get our offer noticed in more schools - and we succeeded! For 3 weeks from 23rd November, we held 68 mock interviews via Zoom with students from 7 schools.

Most had applied for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or Oxbridge as these tend to be the only subjects / universities requiring interviews nowadays.

Whilst Rotary School Ambassadors were involved in distributing our 2020-21 programme flier to their school contacts, Wendy Mangan of DWP also added the flier to one of her mailings and drew attention to our mock interview offer. This provoked a flurry of requests from All Saints, Archbishop Holgates, Huntington, Joseph Rowntree, The Mount, Tadcaster Grammar and York College.

As we could not go into schools this year, all mock interviews were on Zoom; the real ones were/will be online too. Secretary Mike kindly made the York Rotary account available to us so that we could hold 4 x 30-minute interviews (maximum) per session.

After a short training session on hosting Zoom meetings, Paul Harvey, Mary Lumley, Mike himself and I were ready to lead each session - any glitches with the Club Zoom in mid December were probably as a result of several different people taking it over!

The Mock Interview Team comprised 14 York Rotarians and Student Erin. I tried to match professions and subject specialisms so that students could be sufficiently challenged. Rotarians deserve much credit for making themselves available, holding the interviews and then sending detailed feedback to each student. We could not have honoured our offer without them.


Schools and Rotarians have been asked for feedback which will be evaluated by the Youth Services Team when it meets again in early 2021. We should probably start earlier next year and I need to make certain of screenshots! Already, many appreciative comments have been received from schools and their students. We met some outstanding young people, described by one interviewer as “spiritually optimistic”, who had coped and adapted to 2020’s challenges and have a bright future.

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