Tips for Interview Preparation

Tips for interview preparation

  1. Organise the logistical details
    • Make sure you respond quickly to the interview invite to confirm your time, date etc.
    • If it’s in person, make sure you know the name of the person you are meeting.
    • If it’s a video, skype or phone interview, make sure you are in a quiet location that has a good connection.  For video or skype, make sure that your surroundings and the clothes you are wearing look professional.

  2. Research the organisation & industry
    • Try to get a good feel for what the organisation does. Some companies provide information on MyFuture as well as on their own website. 
    • Pay special attention to details of their mission, strategy and values if they have made this information available on their website. Try to bring these into answers about your motivations to work for that organisation.
    • Learn who their clients/customers are.
    • Think about who their competitors might be.
    • Look at what their employees have said about them on Glassdoor. You will need to register to use this service which enables employees to write reviews about their employers. These employees often provide useful interview advice.
    • Take time to investigate what is going on in their industry at the minute and how that impacts upon them and their clients/customers.

  3. Research the role
    • Read and then re-read the job description. Make sure you know what it says and can refer to it in your interview answers.
    • Some companies have role information on their own website.  Some graduate careers websites have general role information e.g. prospects.
    • Look for opportunities to speak to people. On campus events. Contact details.

  4. Consider your selling points
    Once you have an understanding of the organisation and the role for which you are interviewing, think about your key selling points for this job and your evidence for each of the elements in the person specification.
    It can be useful to use a mind map to remind yourself of elements from your degree, your extra-curricular activities and your work. Or to use a timeline for the last few years to draw out the key milestones and what you gained from them.

    Pay attention to the things you really enjoyed and the challenges you overcame.

    Use this evidence to prepare STAR-formatted answers for each of the skills elements in the person specification – see TargetJobs: Competency-based interviews.

  5. Watch videos to see what to expect
    Videos of real-life graduate job interviews are available to view via QOL: Services -> Other -> Careers Videos -> Making an Impact – the graduate job interview

  6. Prepare answers to common questions
    Most interviews include a set of commonly asked questions. There’s no excuse not to have an answer prepared for these.

  7. Prepare questions to ask
    See Some questions to ask at interview

  8. Work on making a positive first impression
    See Body language tips for interviews