To practise interview questions book a careers guidance appointment (add a comment to say that you want interview practise and giving details of the job/employer) or attend a Job Search Advice appointment or job search advice drop-in. Bring along a copy of the job specification and your application. You can also practise video interviews.
How to prepare
- Be prepared to expand on everything you have mentioned in your CV and application form, think about your experiences to date
- Research the occupational area – using the Library business databases and MarketLine Advantage
- Have a good understanding of the role. It will show if there’s any doubt as to your interest, knowledge of the job, sector or company
- Research as much as you can about the organisation using, websites, news, brochures, business databases etc. How does it differ from other occupations / graduate schemes / internships?
- Keep up to date with business news, global events and current affairs, consider how these affect your job sector
- Watch Interview Masterclass - listen to extracts of mock interviews with Warwick students and employers
- Students share their interview experiences online e.g. Glassdoor or WikiJobs
On the day
- Dress smartly – even if the usual dress-code is casual/informal
- Plan your route - arrive promptly, think how you will cope if there is an unexpected delay
- First impressions - remember that you are on show from the minute you arrive, make a good impression
- Answer all the questions carefully – take a moment to think before answering
- Be positive in everything you say. Don't make negative comments about previous employers, tutors or your school
- Don't let a friendly, informal interview style lull you into a false sense of security, still be professional
- Don't be afraid of silence. If you have finished what you have to say and the interviewer remains silent, don't keep talking to fill the gap
- Be aware of body language and try to maintain eye contact. If it is panel interview you need to keep eye contact with all the members
- Use examples from different experiences
- Prepare some intelligent questions to ask at the end.
If you have prepared well and done your research you should be able to answer even the most challenging interview questions. Try to remember that the interviewer is trying to get the best out of you so think of it as an opportunity to show them what you know. Interview questions fall into the following categories:
- Biographical – designed to find out more about you, and put you ‘at ease’
- Competency – designed to draw out evidence of core skills. Use the CARE framework to help you to plan your answers.
- Hypothetical – designed to test your ability to think quickly, hard to anticipate
- Motivational – designed to test motivation and commitment
- Strengths-based – designed to find candidate innate aptitudes, difficult to manipulate
Top tips for answering questions
- Use examples from different experiences e.g. academic, work experience, extra-curricular activities
- Avoid giving yes/no answers - try to expand, and illustrate your examples using the CARE framework
- Be precise - don't ramble, try to make your answers as clear as possible
- Make sure you tell the interviewer what they need to know and convince them you're the right candidate
- Don't be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat or clarify the questions.
- Glassdoor - interview feedback searchable by company or sector
- Prospects: interview tips
- Inside Buzz - interview tips from recent applicants and employers
- University of Kent careers service: 150 common questions asked at graduate interviews
- WikiJobs – a bank of questions for jobs and internships