Preparation

Explore our online resources and employer video advice on Employability Online's 'Preparing for your interview' module using your NTU login.

Before the interview

  • Dress for smartness and comfort. Bear in mind the type of job for which you are applying and think about the culture of the organisation. Remember that the world of work tends to be somewhat conservative in its attitudes towards dress.
  • Plan your travel arrangements. Know the location so that you are able to arrive at the place of interview in good time.
  • Report to the reception five or ten minutes before the interview. Work on the assumption that you are being interviewed from the moment you walk through the door.
  • Bring your appointment letter with you. You should ask for your interviewer by name if possible and state the time of the appointment.

Before the interview

When you walk into the interview room:

  • Try to appear confident and pleased to be there.
  • Look the interviewer in the eye and shake hands firmly.
  • Remember: first impressions do matter.

During the interview

  • Try to establish a relationship with your interviewer – be prepared to listen as well as speak.
  • Be aware of your body language. Sit up straight and look at your interviewer.
  • Answer the question! Speak clearly and concisely – your interviewer is almost certainly using this opportunity to assess your ability to communicate.
  • Be pleasant and smile! Do not be put off by indifference, hostility or arrogance on the part of the interviewer. This may be part of the process or illustrate the shortcomings of the interviewer. It may also reflect the culture of the organisation (do you want to work for them?).
  • Be interested in what you are discussing and enthusiastic about the job for which you are applying. Push for answers to the questions you have prepared.
  • Aim to emphasise and sell your strengths. If the interviewer seems to be concentrating on your weaknesses, try to steer the conversation around to your skills and abilities which are relevant to the job.
  • At the end of the interview try to establish what the next stage of the recruitment process is likely to be. For recruiters, it is often difficult to forecast how long it will be before they let you know. Many organisations will take longer to reach a decision than expected.

Reflection

After an interview we suggest you reflect on your experience and plan areas where you can improve.

  • What did you do well and what would you have done differently?
  • Which questions were difficult to answer?
  • What impressed you about the other candidates?
  • How can you improve?

There are many types of interviews for example: Competency based, technical, biographical – View the different interview types to gain hints and tips and how to cope with those killer questions.

Employers at a careers fair