Preparation, preparation, preparation
The best way to tackle interview nerves, and make sure that you do your best on the day, is to be prepared.
Before the interview
Do your research
- Find out about the company or organisation you’re applying to by visiting their website and social media channels
- Use sites like Glassdoor and Great Place to Work to get some insider knowledge about what it’s like to work there
- Make sure you know all the details of the job you’re interviewing for by thoroughly reading the job description and person specification
Write down any questions you still have. They’ll will be useful in the interview, as you’ll normally be asked if you have any questions of your own.
Practice makes perfect
- Write down some likely interview questions and then ask someone to do a mock interview with you
- Most interview questions will be about you, why you’re interested in the job, and what experiences you’ve had so far that will help you fulfil the role
- These kinds of questions often start with “Can you tell me about a time when ..?” For example, “a time when you’ve had to use your initiative?” or “a time where you’ve worked as part of a team?” Practice answering using the ‘STAR’ framework
Shine with STAR
What is the STAR framework?
- Situation - What's the situation you were in?
- Task - What needed to happen?
- Action - What did you do, and how did you do it?
- Results - What was the outcome of your actions?
Here's an example
Start out with the situation
“Last summer I was volunteering for a charity.”
Next talk about the task
“I was given the job of improving their promotional strategy to increase donations”
Explain the action you took
“I researched how other charities get the best out of their promotions and then presented new ideas to my manager.”
Proudly share the result
“My manager took my ideas on board and after a week of new promotions, our donations increased by 10%.”
My interview experiences
Hear from Charlotte about the kinds of questions she sees come up time and again in interviews.
On the day
Here are our top tips to help you do your best on the day.
Dress for success
Wear something smart and comfortable that you would wear for work if you got the job
Research the location and travel options, practice your answers, and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination
Take your time
When answering questions, don’t feel like you need to rush to come up with an answer. Take a deep breath and repeat the question back if you need to
Follow the STAR
The answer format can be a huge help - it’s a great one to practice with friends or family
Feedback is your friend
You can’t win them all. So even if you don’t get the job, asking for feedback can be a really great way to learn how to improve for next time. Most employers expect this and should be ready to provide it on request