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Careers: Interviews

Interviews

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The best ways to prepare for your interview:

  • Research: Both the company and the job that you have applied for
  • Know where you are going: Plan your route beforehand so that you don't get lost resulting in you turning up late
  • Practice: Use practice questions to learn how to structure your answers, use the STAR format (Situation, Task, Action, Result) and write them down if it helps and even use colours when doing so as this can help you to remember
  • Questions: It's important to ask your own questions during the interview. Think about what you would like to know about the company and the job role. Write them down and take them to the interview with you. Make sure you prepare a few questions as it may be the case that the interviewer covers some of these before you can ask them
  • Dress Accordingly: Find out about the dress code for the employment and choose your outfit around this
  • Arrive early: It's best to arrive around 10-15 minutes before the interview is due to start. This shows that you are punctual but also gives you time to take in your surroundings and understand the workplace dynamic
  • Keep your answers structured: Try and use the STAR layout (Situation, Task, Action, Result), be truthful and do not talk negatively about past employers
  • Remember your good manners and body language: Sit or stand tall with shoulders back, do not lean or cross your arms. Always smile and keep eye contact, this shows confidence
  • No Mobiles: Make sure you turn off your mobile phone or switch it to silent
  • Don't turn up empty handed: Bring with you a pen and paper, be prepared to make notes if needed. Have a copy of your CV so you can refer to it if you feel that the interviewer has missed an accomplishment. Also bring a list of questions that you want to ask at the end of your interview
  • Prepare your questions: Take time to think about what you would like to know about the job role i.e. how will my performance be measured? or can you explain some of the day to day responsibilities of this job role? This may be where you would write down some notes
  • Research: It is likely that the interview will ask what you know about the company so make sure that you have done your research
  • Practice your answers: Get a friend or family member to sit down with you and go through practice questions and answers. Time your answers so that you make sure you do not say too much!
  • Be human! Take time at the beginning for casual pleasantries to show your social side. Be yourself and your individual personality
  • Don't panic! If you don't know the answer that's ok. You can also ask to come back to a question later in the interview so that you can take a bit more time to think

Questions that employers are likely to ask:

  • Can you tell me about yourself?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What are you looking for in a job?
  • How did you hear about this position?
  • What do you know about this company?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Why should we hire you?

Questions that you could ask:

  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of someone in this job role?
  • What are your company values?
  • Is there opportunity for progression within the company?
  • What is your favourite part about working for this company?
  • What is the most challenging part of this job role?
  • How will my performance be measured?
  • What are the next steps in the interview process?

You can get more information and advice on how to prepare for an interview and what to expect on the below websites: