Find out how to succeed at interviews and use our tools and resources to prepare and practice for all types of interviews.
The interview enables the employer to learn about you, your skills, experience, potential and whether you will work well with others in the organisation. For you, the interview enables you to learn more about the organisation, the position, and the people within the organisation.
To gain more insight into interview techniques and tips for your next interview, complete our Interviews & selection employability module.
The key to success in any type of selection interview is:
Preparation - revising your application, finding out who is on the panel and researching the organisation, panel and key staff on the relevant websites and LinkedIn. Find out more in this video: Interview preparation explained.
Presentation - the way you dress, first impressions, body language, your answers to questions and having questions of your own. Find out more in this video: What makes a good first impression at interview?
Process - timeliness, handling questions, being clear of other types of assessment required, and how and when follow-up actions on your part and the part of the employer will happen.
The purpose of many interview questions is to test out whether you have the specific qualities and skills required for the position. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer to such questions, rather interviewers are seeking evidence of such qualities as your work ethic, motivation, energy, attitudes, initiative or maturity. Look carefully at the job description or analyse the role carefully to identify the skills the interviewer is likely to focus on.
Most interview questions are based on when and how you demonstrated particular behaviours and competencies. Prior to interview each position is assessed for the skills/competencies and characteristics that relate to job success. Interview questions are then developed based on these. Every job can be described in terms of key competencies. The word competency is widely used in management and recruitment and refers to the behaviours that are necessary to achieve the objectives of an organisation.
To prepare for behavioural and competency interviews, review the job description carefully and identify the skills and traits likely to be assessed. Identify the situations and experiences that you will refer to in the interview to demonstrate these skills and traits. The STAR model will provide a structure to your answers and is often expected by employers and recruiters. The structure is:
- Situation - describe a situation or problem that you have encountered
- Task - describe the task that the situation required or your ideas for resolving the problem
- Action - describe the action you took, obstacles that you had to overcome
- Results - highlight outcomes achieved.
To practise answering interview questions, try our Interview Simulator.
Download and share more information about behavioural interviews.
Interviews can often be part of a wider assessment day or days often called an assessment centre. This is often the case for graduate programmes or when an organisation is hiring a number of roles at one time.
To find out more and prepare for an assessment centre use our online Assessment Centre Tool