It’s tough to get meaningful face time with employers, especially when you’re not about to get the job. At a standard careers fair, the employer is only expecting to see you again should you make the effort to apply. And sometimes, that’s a hell of a bridge to cross in and of itself.
Our event was specifically designed so both parties could cut to the chase. Top employers want top talent, and top talent want to work for top companies. So why wait? In truth, we felt the need. The need for speed.
Thus Debut’s Speed Interviewing Event was born. Ten of the best employers in the world meeting with over 40 Debutants eager to set their futures in stone.
Some of the brightest sparks in the country came along, 47% with 1st class degree, and 53% with a 2:1, representing 27 different universities including Imperial College London, University of Portsmouth, University of Reading, University College London, University of Southampton, University of Warwick, University of Edinburgh, University of Durham, King’s College London, Loughborough University, University of Liverpool, Brunel University, University of Exeter, Kingston University, University of Manchester and Aston University.
They came from far, wide and all over to meet recruiters from industry giants which included Vodafone, L’Oréal, O2, giffgaff, Siemens, Arcadia, Capgemini, Willis Towers Watson and Fidelity. The table was set – literally – as hopeful students and recent graduates would get the chance to speak to not just one, but all ten before the night was over. For the standout performers, the chance to get fast-tracked – skipping, in most cases, the initial stages of application – loomed large for the taking.
Upon arrival, the Debutants were split into two groups. One group was sat opposite pairs of waiting recruiters from all ten companies; ready and waiting to scout for potential gems. Each candidate would have a 4-minute interview (with plenty of time for feedback, of course!) before moving on the the next pair of recruiters.
Ten interviews in less than an hour did leave some candidates’ and some recruiters’ heads spinning; but regardless they were grateful and excited to finally be getting the close contact they crave, and which there should be more of in the recruitment process. “It’s not often that we get to speak to such a large, diverse group of candidates in such a short amount of time,” said a representative from Siemens. “This event has given us a lot to think about!”
We spoke to one student who found the event particularly helpful: “Today was a very good insight into what employers want and don’t want. It was very clear and very concise, so going forward now, I can’t make the same mistakes I was making before. I’m very thankful this happened and I actually came. Thank you Debut!”
For the group not speed interviewing, we provided an experience which proved just as valuable. They got to participate in crucial workshops that covered so many important aspects of employability, some they had never previously considered. These were led by our capable employers who had more than enough expertise on their given topic. In one room, O2 and giffgaff presented on personal branding, an often overlooked and yet crucial part of careers success. In the next, Fidelity gave a well-reviewed talk on face-to-face interviews and how to truly succeed in them. In the third, cognitive assessment experts cut-e gave an informative workshop on how to pass what many feel is the most difficult part of the process with flying colours. In the fourth and final, Debut’s own COO, Michele, and Community Manager, Grace, gave an unmissable class on how to ‘dress to impress’ at an interview, which audiences could only describe as ‘lit’. 🔥
For a select fifth group, there was a special opportunity presented by Debut ourselves. Head of Product, Stéphane, presented an interactive workshop on submitting the perfect video submission. The surprise? They got to make a video submission right there and then. For the best submission we receive, we’ll be offering that person the chance of a lifetime – an internship here with us at Debut. Watch this space!
After several meticulous swaps, everybody got a chance to try workshops, build on their interview skills and importantly, meet with potential employers. Once everyone had had their fill, they fuelled up with pizza, beer and wine and got to networking. It was quite the jovial affair: “I love the laid-back atmosphere here,” said one final year student. “It’s good to be able to learn in a setting which is relaxed, where you can really be yourself.” Have a watch of the video below to hear some more positive feedback from our happy students:
The employers seemed pretty happy too. One Willis Towers Watson recruiter said of the event: “[The event] exceeded our expectations. We spoke to lots and lots of students, and fast-tracked about eight of them as well which was really beneficial. The networking after has also been really good as it’s given us another opportunity to meet with everyone.”
All in all, there were over 80 fast-tracks reported at the end of the night. A successful evening for all involved; the students, the employers and for us, because we love to bring people together. Our methods may be unorthodox, but the success just goes to show one thing: why go all around the houses when you can cut to the chase?