An interview is a chance for an employer to see if you're the right person for the job. It’s your chance to make a good impression and show what you have to offer. You can also use it to help you decide if the job and the company are right for you.
There are different types of interviews, including:
- Face-to-face with one person
- Panel interview - face-to-face, with two or more people and can include a presentation
- Telephone – This can be the first stage in recruitment and used when there are a lot of applicants
- Assessment Centre - An assessment centre (or assessment day) is a combination of tasks and activities that test your suitability for the job. You'll have the chance to demonstrate a wider range of skills than you would have been able to during a traditional face-to-face interview
- Online interview - you’re interviewed online, using an application like Microsoft teams or Zoom
Employers use different types of questions when interviewing. They can include:
- Competency-based - the focus is on the things you can do, so you’ll be asked to give examples to show you have the skills needed for the job
- Strengths-based - these explore what you enjoy doing or do well and is used to check things like your practical or team working skills, or how you work under pressure
- Technical - for jobs in science, IT, engineering, finance or law - they test your job-related knowledge and understanding of work processes
- Situational judgement - test how you would react in typical work situations and check things like your ability to solve problems, make decisions or work with others
- Values-based - commonly used for health and care jobs, particularly in the NHS, to confirm that you share the values and understand the culture of the organisation
- Motivational - these help an employer to see what drives you and to make sure you’ll fit in with their company
You can find more advice on how to answer common interview questions.
Preparing for the interview
- Read the job description and person specification and ensure you know the skills and qualities the employer is looking for
- Research the company by looking on their website to find out more about the company and what it does
- Review your CV or application form and think about things the employer may ask you about
- Prepare some examples that show you have the right skills, personal qualities and experience, the STAR method is a good example of this
- If you are required to deliver a presentation, practise your timings keep a back-up copy
- Practise answering questions with someone
- Think of two or three questions you can ask at the end of your interview, that show you’re enthusiastic about the job
- Wear something suitable and comfortable
- Make sure you know what time you need to arrive and the name of the person you need to see and allow yourself plenty of time to get there, being late is not a good impression at interview
In the interview, remember the following:
- Ensure your mobile phone is turned off
- Greet the interviewer/s with a handshake and smile
- Use the right language and tone for a formal situation and remember your body language
- Listen carefully to questions and think before you begin your answers. You can always write the questions down, especially if there is more than one element to the question. It can help to remind you what all elements of the question are so you don’t miss out on anything
- Listen carefully to questions and think before you begin your answers
- If you do not understand a question, ask the interviewer to repeat it or explain further
- Remember to use STAR method to answer questions about your skills
- Be positive about your experiences - if you’ve faced difficult situations, share what you learned from them
- Do not exaggerate or come across as over-confident, its always best the tell the truth
- Ask a couple of questions when you’re invited to do so - choose questions that make you sound keen, like ‘What opportunities are there for training with your company?’, rather than ones about pay or holidays at this stage
- At the end of the interview, thank the employer for their time and tell them that you are looking forward to hearing from them
- Keep track of your applications and interviews and make notes of how you felt your interview went a, how you feel you could improve and of any feedback from the interviewers. This can help your development and be a really good way of perfecting your interview technique
Hire Me - Hear from local employers to gain an understanding of the expectations that employers have when it comes to recruitment. Including CV writing, Assessment Centre, Interview Techniques and Interview Etiquette.
Are you an adult? Visit our East riding Employment Education and Skills to see what support is available to you.
The National Careers Service has a great Interview Advice Guide.
BT-Stand out Skills use the BT Standout Skills Guides to identify your employability skills.