Your motivation and understanding of the role
Some questions are likely to come up regardless of the type of job, for example ‘why do you want this job?’ and ‘why do you want to work for this organisation?’
Employers want to understand what motivates you and test how much you know about the job and organisation. What will the day to day tasks in the job be like? Who are their clients and competitors? What services or products do they offer? Think about the bigger picture and read around the sector trends and challenges.
The job description lists exactly what the employer is looking for, so by reading it carefully you can make an informed guess that you will be asked questions relating to these areas. If the job description mentions planning, communication and team working skills, make sure you prepare examples to demonstrate these skills (also called competencies).
The concept of these competency based questions is that past performance is the best predictor of future performance; interviewers are seeking evidence and examples of what you have already done. Examples could come from work experience, your course and extra-curricular activities.
- Try to relax and be the best version of yourself. Look smart and professional. If you’re not sure what to wear, it is safer to look a bit too formal.
- First impressions are vital. The interview starts as soon as you enter the building, so be polite and professional from the start.
- Pay attention! Answer the question they ask - not the one you wish they had asked.
- Speak slowly and clearly. Ask for a moment if you need time to think.
- Ask for clarification if you do not understand the question.
- Don’t give yes or no responses, but avoid giving unnecessary detail. The body language of the interviewer can often tell you whether you need to expand or bring that answer to a close.
- Be truthful but positive. If you have to present negative information (e.g. failure or a weakness), say how you learned from it or overcame it.