Interview guide

No matter what age you are, what you do, or how much experience you have, job interviews can be scary. The trick is to be prepared. So, here's what you need to think about to bring your best when you sit down at your next interview.

Do your research

Finding out as much as you can about the company and the job you're being interviewed for will make a good impression and show you're passionate. It'll also help you to prepare some great questions which you can ask in the interview. And knowing your stuff about the role and company will also make it easier for you to answer any questions fired your way.

Practice makes perfect

Talk through your answers to common interview questions with a friend or family member by asking them to be the interviewer.

Here's a short video to show you three areas to help you structure a practice interview.

Tell me about a time when…

You will encounter these types of questions in a lot of interviews. The best way to be prepared to answer these questions is to use a technique called STAR to structure your reply clearly:

  • S-ituation, what's the situation were in?
  • T-ask, what needed to happen?
  • A-ction, what did you do, and how did you do it?
  • R-esults, what was the outcome of your actions?

Here's an example of using the STAR framework to show employers how you'll shine in a new role.

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%.'

And finally, our top tips for interviews

  • Dress for success - Keep it smart and look sharp – try to wear what you would if you were showing up for work. Go to bed early the night before so that you look rested and alert for the interview.
  • Do some digging - Find out about the company beforehand and make sure to ask some questions of your own during the interview. You can look at the job description, company website and their social media for things you might want to ask more about in the interview.
  • Prep like a pro - Be sure to get there on time and take a copy of your application, CV and qualifications with you. Make sure you practise answers to common interview questions and be ready to back up the points you make.
  • Answer awesomely - During the interview, pay attention to the interviewer and don't be afraid to pause when answering a question. Choose experiences that you can talk about in detail, and have back-up examples to give, just in case. And most of all, be yourself!
  • Shine with STAR - When answering interview questions about your skills and strengths, remember to use the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action and Result.
  • Ask how you did -Whether you get the job or not, it's always good to ask for feedback. It'll help you develop and see things you might not have noticed on your own.