Interview Preparation

You have secured an interview – well done!

Now let’s secure the position

InterviewTablet_Laptop

Top Interview Tips

Questions to ask in an interview?

You need to be prepared for your interview in order to perform at your best. You will need to clearly ask and answer questions that present you in the best possible light. It is vital that you know your CV, your self and the company you are applying for.

  • Research
  • Practice
  • Prepare
  • Succeed

Research

Research is key, it will arm you with the information you need to prepare yourself for the interview. Company information should be readily available on their website and typing the company into a search engine may uncover related news articles and industry awards that can help you get a wider picture of the business.

Look For:

  • What They Do
  • Their Mission & Values
  • Their Competitors
  • Size of The Team
  • Departments
  • Latest News or Social Media 

Person Specification

The person specification is a great resource for finding out exactly what the employer is looking for. Read through it carefully and try to think of examples where you have proved you have the skills, qualities and experience they are looking for.

  • Research
  • Practice
  • Prepare
  • Succeed

Practice Makes Perfect

Ask your friends and family to help!

Following your research draft some questions about the organisation you want to join which are likely to be part of the interview. You may have declared your passion for a certain subject or industry, so be prepared to demonstrate it. Have a good think about your own skills and experience, and how you will relate them to the job itself. Practise these questions with your family, friends, even in front of a mirror.

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses, how would your friends or colleagues describe you, why do you want to work here, what can you bring to the organisation?
  • Preparing questions to ask – cover the basics e.g. working hours, next steps, start date, benefits and think of questions that will help you stand out e.g. key objectives of the role, organisational structure, opportunities for self-development and progression
  • Research
  • Practice
  • Prepare
  • Succeed
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Answering Questions

It’s important to communicate clearly during an interview. We all have different mannerisms when we speak – different speeds, intonations or overuse of certain words.


When preparing for your interview, practise using the STAR model for answering questions. This model will help you to answer your questions comprehensively and allows you to focus your responses.

star-questions

STAR questions are extremely structured behavioral interview questions where answers are provided by explaining the Situation, Task, Action, and Result of a particular topic are provided to the interviewer.

STAR Method Example for Interview


For a question such as: “Tell us about a time when you showed extreme patience and performed above everyone’s expectations under immense pressure.”

Situation: “In my previous organization, website signups and conversions were reducing quarter after quarter in 2017.”

Task: “It was my responsibility to come up with efficient market-approved ideas to make the website better and increase website signups and conversions by at least 20% in the first quarter of 2018.”

Action: “I designed a plan to revamp the website homepage with attractive call-to-actions. I also optimized the blogs and created a plan to generate new content every week to boost website traffic. All these blog pages had CTAs so that if visitors wish to sign-up from the particular page, they easily can. The email marketing team was informed about my targets and with a few email campaigns in a quarter, the sign-ups improved.”

Result: “By the end of the first quarter of 2018, my team and I were successful in increasing sign-ups by 20%.”

Your Turn.

Practise the questions below and apply
the STAR model to your answers.

1

Tell me about yourself.

Reference interests and hobbies, educational achievements, aspirations.

2

What interests you most about work experience or volunteering with us?

Discuss personality and attributes that match the job, skills you can develop, future job aspirations.

3

What do you know about this opportunity and what do you want to get out of this?

Demonstrate knowledge of the organisation or sector, why you applied.

4

Tell us about a time when you had to work as part of a team.

Offer a specific example, reference your role in the group, demonstrate organisation and communication skills, successes and challenges.

5

Describe an activity or initiative where you had to take responsibility.

What did you enjoy about it, was anything difficult? – Offer a specific example, demonstrate planning and initiative, successes, challenges and outcomes

6

What things are you most proud of?

What things are you most proud of that you have worked on at school/college/in a part-time or volunteering role? – Demonstrate independence and initiative, enthusiasm, be confident but don’t show off.