Preparing for Interviews

So you’ve been invited to interview – well done! Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but remember: the employer really hopes that you’re the person that they’ll hire.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most common interview questions (as well as a few wild cards!), alongside some of our team’s top tips and resources.

Grab a cuppa, have a read, and get ready to up your interview game…

We’ve brought together a few of our most knowledgeable friends to tell you everything you need to know to prepare:

  • National Careers Service are often a good place to start for job hunting research.
  • Career Connect have put together a great list of Dos and don’ts, including some useful tips for telephone interviews.
  • Prospects, the university gurus, have a really helpful resource covering things from types of questions and tests you might be asked to do at interview, to video interviews and assessment centres.

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Common Interview Questions
What are your greatest strengths?

Whilst it can be tempting to reel off a long list to impress them, be selective, because they wont be able to remember everything. Choose just a few things that you know that they’ll be interested to hear, and remember to check against the person specification to find key words and skills!

What are your weaknesses?

Now this might feel like a trick question, but really they’re just trying to see how self-aware you are. Use this as a chance to tell them something you’ve learned about yourself. For instance if you’re not naturally great at time management, tell them about the strategies you use to be better at it.

Give an example of a time when...

This question starter can be used in lots of different ways, but don’t be put off – they’re a great chance to use some of your STAR Answers! Tell them what the situation was, what you were trying to achieve, what you personally did, and what the outcome was.

Why do you want this job?

In this question, they’re looking to see if you’ve done your research. Do you know anything about the organisation? What is it about the company that makes you think it’d be a good place to work? Does it have a long history of success? How does it treat it’s employees? Does it’s work make a difference?

What achievement are you most proud of?

This is a way for employers to find out two things: how high-performing you are, and what kind of achievements you feel are important. For example, you might choose to tell them about a time when you helped someone else, when you generated some income, or when you tried doing something new.