Gemma Smith is a member of the National Leadership Network Steering Group. One of the NLN hosts, namely CYCJ recently asked members of the Steering Group if they were interested in being considered for a short term paid role being part of an interview panel. Gemma took on this opportunity and kindly wrote about her experience:

When I saw the opportunity to be a part of a CYCJ interview panel I knew right away that I wanted to take it, and I truly loved every second of it. Not only was this a fantastic chance to gain some experience, it also offered me some time to get to know one of the five partner organisations that the NLN are working with.

There were three of us on the panel and we interviewed three people hoping that one of them could fit the admin-event organiser dual role that CYCJ was looking to fill. I actually enjoyed reading through the CVs and ‘personal statements,’ both because it helped me feel more knowledgeable during the interview but also because it offered insight into information that wasn’t necessarily mentioned during the interview (I say ‘actually’ because I’ve heard from friends and family that it can be bland and tedious, but I found it great fun).

The interviews themselves weren’t so clear cut. It was fascinating, really, to be one of the interviewers (and I’d wager significantly less nerve-wracking) so the perspective of being the observer was really – in laymen’s terms – quite cool. There was so much to examine, how the interviewee entered the room, the manner with which they spoke, the way they answered the questions, their tone, and then having to balance them against each other. In other words, who would be the right fit and why; luckily, we did manage to choose one who I hope the best for in the future.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity. I feel I have gained insight into the ‘other side’ and have discovered that I actually really enjoy the interview process both as an interviewee and an interviewer. Thank you again, CYCJ, for the opportunity and I look forward to working with you in the future!

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