SIXTH form students were given the chance to hone their interview skills with advice from a North-East businessman.

Facilitators from the Transformation Trust spent the day working with students at The King’s Academy, in Coulby Newham.

Fallon Dunleavy, who works for Durham County Council and Ben Darrah, who runs an app company in Newcastle, shared the benefit of years of experience on either side of the interview desk as the students considered their futures.

The students were encouraged to draw on the many character-building opportunities they have had during their time at school to identify their attributes and think about how they could be transferred to the world of work or further study.

The workshops were part of Barclays LifeSkills programmed delivered by the Transformation Trust, an independent education charity which seeks to level the playing field by offering fully-funded employability initiatives in schools across the UK.

Ms Dunleavy said: “The Barclays LifeSkills workshops are designed to help students be the very best they can be.

“The Transformation Trust works with many top companies in a variety of sectors who have given us feedback on the skills they feel young people are lacking. We pass on tips with interview techniques to build their confidence and skillset.”

The students also received help with preparing answers to common interview questions, filling in applications, and preparation in the days leading up to interview.

Ben, who also runs Newcastle app company Product, advised: “Find out about the job and the company and try to get what you have learned into any conversation. They will be looking for someone who exhibits passion, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.”

Student Emma Saunders, 17, said: “The workshops were really good and have boosted my confidence and changed the way I think about interviews.”

Head of Sixth Form at The King’s Academy, Jenni Yuill, added: “Some young people simply don’t recognise the skills they have developed so far and these sessions are a great way for them to appreciate what they have to offer."