Posted by Jeanette Leigh

Students need to know how to present themselves to secure a job interview, and have the skills to land that job once an interview is granted. Rotary Club of Richmond decided to invest in helping to prepare young people for a successful life. In collaboration with Melbourne Girls’ College, the club adopted the successful Mock Job Interview project, which has been going for around 20 years.

“The girls come away saying that the interview was a very positive experience rather than one to be feared. You can see an immediate difference in them because they’ve enjoyed it so much,” says Rotarian Nia Holdenson, who is an ex-teacher of Melbourne Girls' College.
For five years, Nia has coordinated the program with the school’s careers staff. She also recruits a panel of Rotarians and community members to evaluate the job applications and conduct the interviews.

“There are only places for 84 students out of around 230, so we choose those who are more in need; those who might have low self-confidence; or those with lesser English skills. Participants are always provided with lots of positive and constructive feedback and encouraged to be professional in their approach,” says Nia.

Students select one of 18 simulated Job ads based on the seven job clusters: generators, artisans, carers, coordinators, designers, informers and technologists; then experience the entire job seeking cycle. They create and submit resumes and cover letters, then present to Rotarians in an interview.

Mock interviews held in May assess students on their communication skills and ability to answer questions.

"It's wonderful to watch the girls becoming confident, and develop a strong sense of self-worth as they learn this valuable skillset,” says Nia.

Bryan Goodwin, Rotary Club Altona City, updated the job descriptions this year to ensure STEM vocations were represented.

“This collaboration between the school and The Rotary Club of Richmond has been highly successful. Other Rotary clubs in Australia and internationally have also conducted Mock Job Interview programs. Everyone can leverage the resources we’ve developed and District 9800 has developed a school’s template to encourage more clubs to onboard the program.”

For further Information contact PP Nia Holdenson, Program Coordinator, Rotary Club of Richmond. Email: