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Job Interview

Preparation is the key to good interview performance. The more familiar you are with the employer's requirements and your own skills and abilities, the more confident you will feel.

Preparing for your interview

Once you have researched the organization or institution, you need to do some research on yourself:

  • Compile a list of examples you can use to illustrate your key skills and attributes. Try to come up with situations you didn't describe in your initial application.
  • Think of some questions you can ask the interviewers. If the answers to your pre-prepared questions have been covered during other parts of the interview process - tell them that.
  • Plan what you are going ot wear. It is important to look professional at your interview (bear in mind what you think will be appropriate clothing within the specific branch). First impressions are important and the employer needs to see that you are taking the process seriously.
  • Know where you are going and roughly how long it will take you to get there - do not be late!

Interview questions

  • Most graduate interviews include skills-based questions. The key is to tell them what YOU did in a particular situation, and not get side-tracked with details about the scenario or the outcome.
  • Sometimes they will as you a hypothetical questions about a particular situation. Don't panic. There is usually no right or wrong answer to these questions. As long as you can explain the logical reasoning behind your answer, you should be OK.
  • In an interview for a job closely related to your studies, you may be asked technical questions. If you don't know the answer - be honest. It might be appropriate to tell them about something similar you have experience with, or give them an example of when you have had to develop new technical knowledge or skills very quickly.
  • If you are stuck for questions to ask at the end of your interview, you could try asking the interviewer what they like about working for their organization. It could give you a useful insight into that career and demonstrates your interest in the area.

Performing well in the interview

  • Shake hands firmly, smile and keep eye contact. First impressions are extremely important.
  • When they ask you why you would be good at the job, do not just give them a list of your skills - back up each point you make with evidence.
  • If they ask you a difficult questions that requires a bit of thought, pausing is fine. If you prefer, you could say something like 'Can I have a moment to think about that one?'
  • Think about your body language. Sitting up straight, nodding occasionally, keeping your arms unfolded etc. creates the impression that you are interested and engaged.
  • When you leave, even if you think the interview went badly, make sure you smile and thank them for their time. Last impressions are pretty important too.