Interviews are opportunities for employers to see you in person and check whether you match up to your application. They want to know if you are capable to do the job and if you will fit in with other employees. The better prepared you are, the better impression you make.


Eye-contact, Know your interviewers names, Smile, Know their company!

Preparation is crucial

It’s vital to spend sometime before the interview to make sure that you are ready. The following simple steps may help you.

  1.  Research – Make sure you are aware of the job role and organisation thoroughly. Ensure you understand what the role involves by reading the job description and person specification. During the interview the employer will try to establish whether you have the skills required to do the job. They will also want to know that you are motivated and interested by the opportunity to work with their company, so find out as much information as possible. Internet search, ask friends, news articles etc…
  2. Look over your CV or Application – Remind yourself what skills, hobbies, experiences and abilities you’ve already told them. What evidence can you give that highlights your suitability for the role. Think about your main qualification for the post and your reason for applying. Think about likely questions they will ask or areas they may want to know more about. Pay attention to weaker areas and make sure you have a good positive response if they flag them up.
  3. Plan your Journey – Check all public transport timetables and check for for any problems the night before. Last thing you want is a blooming tube strike! A good idea is to store your interviewers contact number in your mobile in case of any problems. Make sure you arrive early and allow time to de-stress!
  4. Outfit - Make sure your clobber is appropriate but comfortable. Make sure you lay out your outfit the night before (iron shirt etc) and this will hopefully avoid last minute problems/panics.
  5. At the Interview – You should have been pre-warned to what was needed from you in the interview. Personality questionnaires, team games, interview and perhaps delivering a presentation. be 100% sure your presentation is saved on a USB pen and that it works. it is also very important that you have a list of questions to ask the interviewer. this is also an opportunity for yourself to make sure this company is the one for you. Any activity you are ask to do just be yourself and go for it!

Types of interviews

Whilst the basic principles are the same, interviews may follow different formats. The employer should tell you what to expect in advance, but if they don’t ring or email them to find out. You need to tailor your approach for the different types.

  • Telephone Interview – Often used by the employer at the screen stage. Make sure you are well prepared when they ring you. You will be allocated a time slot so make sure you are up, showered and dressed way before. Have your CV, application form and any helpful notes to hand. Make sure you are in a quiet places with good signal, if possible try and use a landline!
  • Single Face to Face – Most common style for a first interview, when the employer is checking your a suitable candidate. if you are successful from her it is very likely you will be put through to an assessment day.
  • Double Face to Face – Two or more interviewers is a typical approach where there is a need for a specialist to ask a technical or scientific questions and there is a need to probe more deeply. Make sure you make good eye contact with both.

Typical Interview Questions

Interviewers questions are designed to find out if you are the best candidate for the job or grad scheme. Questions may be competency/capability based. On the odd occasion they may ask seemingly irrelevant questions to see how you can react under pressure, “which character from a book would you be and why?” or “what would you do with a brick?” They just want to see you can think on your feet. Don,t panic there is no right or wrong answer.

Example questions

What do you know about us?
Why have you applied to us?
Why should we offer you this position?
Tell me about yourself?
What is your greatest achievement?
Can you think of any projects you have been involved with where something didn’t go to plan and what would you do differently now?
What is your Long term goals?
What motivates you?

Any questions – feel free to comment below.

Source © ASK Student Support