How to make the most of mock interviews and CV workshops: Technical report

Evidence review for the Careers and Enterprise Company report. What works?: The evidence on transition skills events (mock interviews and CV workshops).


 By Jordan Rehill, Elnaz T. Kashefpakdel and Anthony Mann


This technical report, commissioned by the Careers and Enterprise Company, presents evidence that the research team at Education and Employers gathered on the operation and impact of transition skills events held in UK schools and colleges which underpins the guidance document What works? The evidence on transition skills events (mock interviews and CV workshops). The full report will be available from the Careers and Enterprise Company in the near future.

This technical report presents our of review the current evidence relevant to the design and effectiveness of employer led transition skills events such as mock interviews and CV workshops. The findings provide schools and colleges with evidence to support the delivery of these events and activities.

Transition skills events are focussed on improving the knowledge, attributes and skills a young person needs when navigating the jobs market and applying for jobs. Such recruitment skills – being able to present about yourself and highlight your appropriate skills in the context of a job’s requirements in what is often a stressful environment – are critical to young people’s success in obtaining employment.



How to make the most of mock interviews and CV workshops: Technical report

The technical report draws on a mixture of academic literature and new survey data collected by the Education and Employers research team at a number of transition skills events. The paper uses data collected from a student feedback survey, testimonies from teachers and employee volunteers as well a follow up survey of experienced practitioners, which tested the insights for best practice gathered from the other sources.


Summary of the findings


Age of Participants 

Whilst the evidence suggests that positive outcomes can be achieved across all Key Stages, there is a strong suggestion from both the literature and survey results that best outcomes can be achieved if both CV workshops and mock interviews are offered to students in year 11 or older.


Students should have the chance to take part in multiple transition skills events. In our survey of young people, we found that it was students who undertook the greatest numbers of mock interviews and CV workshops who found them to be most helpful.


Students taking part in mock interviews should have the opportunity to be interviewed by a number of different employee volunteers, preferably from different occupational sectors.


Mock interviews should be delivered as one to one practice interviews rather than as a passive talk or presentation which simply describes the process.


Employers should provide feedback on the performance of a young person.


Schools and colleges should set aside time for students to prepare before an event begins. Students regularly found mock interview sessions more useful if they have had time to prepare questions and answers prior to the event taking place.


Transition skills events should be presented or facilitated by an employer or employee volunteer from the world of work, assisted by teaching staff who know the students taking part.


Access the technical report: Transition skills technical annex