A Great Experience Being a YAP Interviewer

My experience of working on a panel interviewing people who want to become on advocate was amazing.

Before I arrived at the YAP centre I was anxious and nervous but I was also very excited.  I had attended the training course in Dublin – which told us about employment law and also got us involved in the fake interviews.  This is where we got to ask the potential advocates questions – I learnt a lot of things and now know what to look for in a person wanting to be an advocate.  My confidence increased due to this experience and I felt prepared to ask the real people, that want to be an advocate, questions because I already knew the format on how the real interview was going to go.

I think it was a great idea to have a young person, who already has an advocate, to interview the applicants to see if they thought they would be a good advocate for a young person, as they already have an advocate they know what works well.

The interview panel was made up of two team leaders from YAP and me.  From my experience of doing the interviews the skills that would be good to have as an advocate are:

  • Listening – because if a young person was upset about something they would need someone to talk to and someone to listen to them.
  • Trust – because if a young person was scared or didn’t know how to tell their family or friends something they could talk it through with their advocate, instead of bottling it up.
  • Funny – because if the young person was having a bad day you could cheer them up with a joke.
  • Be a bit of craic – because no young person would like someone that wasn’t up for doing anything.
  • Outgoing – because it could help a young person who isn’t into going out much to go out more and to go to places they don’t usual go to or experience new things they haven’t before.
  • Easy to get on with – because it could be hard for a young person to get on with someone who has a complicated personality.
  • Someone to help you reach your goals – because if a young person was scared to do something new or get involved with something new you could help them slowly so then they could do it later on in life .

I found the interview to be a wonderful experience so now if I went for an interview I would have a good idea of what the interviewers are looking for.  I found it brilliant because it’s something that not many people my age are lucky to experience.  If any person gets the chance to experience doing it I would highly recommend it as it’s very interesting, enjoyable and an amazing experience to be offered. 

The first man I interviewed was very nice and quiet and seemed like you could trust him and he would listen to you when you needed someone to listen. 

By Megan, Cork