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Interviews can be nerve wracking for the best of us, so knowing what to expect from different types of interview and how to prepare can be a huge help in calming those nerves. There are lots of skills that go into giving a strong interview, such as organisation, communication, time management and research skills. There are lots of ways you can work toward developing these skills which will ultimately put you in the best possible position to succeed at interview.

  • Types of Interview

    There are a few different types of interview settings you may find yourself in, the most common of these are:

    Presentations, group activities, written tasks, case studies, portfolios and psychometric tests are some of the sorts of tasks you may be asked to undertake as part of an interview. All of these are designed to do the same thing; employers want to see you showing your strengths, showcasing your areas of skill and what sets you apart from other candidates. Read more about interviews tests and exercises you may come across here.

    You may also find this selection of interview tips on Prospects useful.

  • Preparing for your interview

    There are lots of small, practical things you can do to be well prepared before your interview:

    • Choose your outfit ahead of time and have it ready.
    • Plan your travel to the interview and even do a test run.
    • Make sure you get a full night’s sleep – no partying the night before!
    • Practice, practice, practice! Whether this be going over your presentation or running through potential questions and answers.

    Find out more about how to prepare for your interview here.

    Would you like some support with your interview preparation? Book a ‘Quick Query Appointment’ on My Career Enriched, your career hub.

  • Dealing with nerves

    It can be difficult to overcome your nerves about an interview, but a good way to start is by positively visualising your success. Think of a moment in your life where you’ve felt really proud and happy (this could be passing your driving test or getting a high mark on an assignment), and use this to visualise those same feelings of strength and pride before heading into an interview. Another great way is by building your confidence through the use of techniques such as power poses. Click here to watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on adopting a power pose!

    Please note: We will have a resource coming soon to help you in dealing with interview nerves. Watch this space! In the meantime, here are some useful links: 

  • Requesting adjustments in the recruitment processes

    If you have a disability or health condition, it is important that you are able to demonstrate your full potential to a prospective employer, so you can compete on a level playing field with non-disabled applicants.  You can request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process as employers have a legal obligation to ensure that when they employ staff they are making it fair for everyone and avoiding discrimination.

    Examples of ‘adjustments’:

    • Application form available in alternative formats (larger print, Braille, audio)
    • Changing the location of the interview room
    • Changing the time of the interview
    • Provision of assistive technology
    • Additional time to complete any assessments
    • Rest breaks in between the interview and any assessment tests, presentations
    • Providing a British Sign Language interpreter 

    For additional support on how to identify and ask for a reasonable adjustment in a job interview and test, contact Careers & Employability via My Career Enriched.

  • Interview questions and how to answer them

    It can sometimes be challenging to know how to answer an interview question so that you best sell yourself. The key thing to remember is that the questions asked will come from the job description and person specification so a good rule of thumb when preparing before the interview is to use these to come up with some potential questions.

    The interview panel are looking for you to demonstrate how you meet the criteria in the person specification – you can do this by using examples. These can be from jobs, study, volunteering, clubs, activities or hobbies – as long as you can relate what you have done to the person specification you can use it! The STAR technique can help you structure your examples so you can make sure to give the interviewers everything they’re looking for! Watch this quick video to find out more about the STAR technique.

    There are lots of questions that come up in interviews and sometimes those that are broad yet common can put you on the spot. Watch this quick video and think about you might approach such questions. It’s also worth knowing what sorts of things interviewers are looking for when they ask you more tricky questions, take a look at this quick guide to answering tricky questions

  • During the Interview

    Ways to make sure you avoid making little mistakes at interview are through lots of preparation and practice beforehand, this will help to build your confidence and make sure you have enough to say. Try to smile and maintain eye contact, this will show your interest in engaging the interviewers and ultimately your enthusiasm for the job. Have a look at this quick guide to body language dos and don’ts in interviews.

    Using positive language during your interview is really important and can help you to show your strengths to an employer. These small changes not only reflect positively on you and show you are able to articulate yourself professionally but they all allow you take ownership over your experiences and your skills. Check out these action words that will help you really sell your experiences and skills.

    Don’t forget – always try to ask at least one question at the end of the interview. This shows you have real interest in exploring the role even further and that you have the confidence to ask. Have a look at some examples.

  • After the interview

    It is perfectly fine to get in touch with the employer by email or phone in order to express your gratitude for being invited to interview and to check in about the progress of the job appointment.

    Sometimes you might not be successful at interview, remember that this happens to everyone and try to take this as simply more valuable experience.

    Make sure you ask for feedback! You can do this by email or phone. It is always worth getting in touch to ask your interviewers where they think you excelled and where you could improve – this is such useful information for the next time you interview!

    Here are some examples of different types of follow up emails you can send an employer.

    Here in the Careers Service, we are always eager to hear how you’ve got on at interview! If you have a success story please get in touch and let us know. We are also always here to help you develop your skills in interviewing too!

Did you know that you can book a practice interview with us? This will always be tailored to the specific job you are interviewing for and can be an invaluable ‘test run’ before the day. Book a ‘Mock Interview Appointment’ on My Career Enriched, your career hub.