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Take on Baroness Karren Brady, Professor Green and Alistair Campbell in the LifeSkills Interview Pod

  • The LifeSkills Interview Pod is a virtual experience that will allow young people to practice their interview skills with the panel of experts and build their confidence 

  • Only one in five 18-24-year olds rate themselves as confident in job interviews

  • Young people find first dates less intimidating than facing an interview

  • Almost double the number of young women[1] (35 per cent) say they feel unconfident in interviews, compared to just 18 per cent of young men

 LifeSkills created with Barclays unveils the ‘Interview Pod’ – a virtual experience that will allow young people to practice their interview skills with a panel of experts.  Baroness Karren Brady CBE will be joined by former Number 10 Press Secretary Alastair Campbell and musician and documentary maker Professor Green to make up the panel.


Young people will be able to take part in real-time, live interviews with the celebrity panel in the LifeSkills Interview Pod in Westfield on Friday 3rd November from 12pm – 3:30pm. The Interview Pod has been created to help young people prepare for the world of work and increase their confidence in interviews by encouraging them to practice and prepare ahead of the big day.


It comes on the back of research by LifeSkills, which found that young people don’t feel confident when it comes to interviews, with two thirds (66%) feeling confused and caught out by questions. In fact, 32 per cent of young people cited going on a first date, starting a new school (30%), taking a driving test (16%) or even breaking up with someone (15%) as less stressful than facing potential employers.


The research also showed a clear difference in the way young men and young women feel about interviews, with young women struggling considerably more with confidence. Over a third (35%) of young women would rate themselves as unconfident in interview situations, compared to just 18 per cent of young men. Most commonly, young women reported feeling nervous (90%), anxious (77%), and sick (40%). In comparison, nearly a third less (66%) young men experienced nerves, and considerably less felt anxious (54%) or sick (13%).


Surprisingly, confidence and competence don’t increase with age, with confidence in job interview technique actually decreasing between the ages of 18 – 21 years (23%) and 22-24 years (21%), and anxiety increasing from 71 per cent to 75 per cent across the age groups.


Participants in the Interview Pod will be asked a series of questions that young people said were the most challenging to answer, and then given feedback and advice to improve their technique and help with their confidence. These were:

  • Can you sell me this pen right now?

  • Tell me about a time when you overcame a great challenge?

  • What is your biggest weakness?

  • Tell me about a time when something went wrong and it was your fault?

  • Why should I hire you?

The LifeSkills Interview Pod will be open between 12pm – 3.30pm on Friday 3rd November on the first floor of Westfield Stratford and is completely free. People who wish to take part in the experience will be able to sign up on the day to put their interview technique to the test, and receive further information on how LifeSkills can help them prepare for the world of work. For those unable to attend, the Virtual Interview Practice tool, available on the LifeSkills website, allows users to practise answering interview questions and adapt their technique based on real-time feedback.


Baroness Karren Brady CBE, Ambassador for LifeSkills said: “Being well prepared is crucial for a job interview, as it’s a great opportunity to show off your skills, strengths and confidence to a potential employer. First impressions are really important and being confident will ensure you present your best self, right away. We hope that by making it through an interview with myself and the rest of the panel, candidates will have the skills they need to be prepared and take on future interviews with confidence and vigour.”


Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills at Barclays commented: “Interviewing can be an extremely stressful experience, especially for young people who have had little opportunity to practice and hone their technique. Our research has shown there is a clear need for more support for those who are struggling with confidence as they enter the world of work. Practicing interviewing can really make a difference to how you feel about the experience so we hope the Interview Pod will encourage young people to do just that. It’s just part of a whole range of great tools and resources we’ve developed that are available on the LifeSkills site.”


LifeSkills created with Barclays, is an educational programme which aims to provide young people in the UK with key employability skills they need to make the transition from education into work, focusing on three key areas: work skills, people skills and money skills.  For more information, or for those who can’t attend the Pod, the Barclays LifeSkills hub provides a wealth of information on how to prepare for working life, including the interactive Virtual Interview Practice tool.


For more information on LifeSkills, please visit

Notes to editors

The Interview Pod will be located on the first floor or Westfield Stratford, from 12pm – 3:30pm on Friday 3rd November.


About LifeSkills created with Barclays

Barclays is passionate and committed to supporting the creation of a strong talent pipeline of young people moving into the labour market who can achieve their aspirations, supporting organisations throughout the UK. By doing this we will help to address the significant societal issue of the skills gap and youth employment challenge, create a better future for young people, supporting our economy and society.


The motivation behind the LifeSkills programme is to inspire millions of young people and equip them with the key skills to move forward into the 21st century work place.  LifeSkills brings together educators, businesses, young people and parents to achieve this, as increasingly young people need to leave education not only with appropriate academic results but with the skills that we know businesses need now and in the future as technology reshapes our working world.


Educators, including schools, colleges, universities, charities and youth groups, are provided with more than 60 hours of free curriculum linked employability resources, through videos, quick fire activities, interactive tools and full lesson plans to teach young people, as well as dozens of interactive tools for young people to learn in their own time or in conjunction with their parents through our dedicated parents section. 


The programme focuses on three core modules; work skills, people skills and money skills.  Teaching skills such as CV writing, interview skills, networking, problem solving, creativity, resilience, communication and managing online reputation.


LifeSkills also provides free support to UK businesses to help improve access to work experience opportunities – giving young people the key skills and experience they need.

Already LifeSkills is raising the aspirations of young people as they feel more confident about the future and we are seeing evidence that young people are using what they have learnt to secure employment and manage their finances more effectively. More than 4.5 million young people have already participated in the programme.

LifeSkills is an integral part of Barclays Shared Growth Ambition, enhancing access to employment in the community where we live and work. 

[1] Respondents aged between 18 and 24 year olds

About Barclays

Barclays is a transatlantic consumer, corporate and investment bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US.

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 85,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website .