Interview success

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Being invited for an interview means that your initial application has been successful, you have provided enough evidence of your background and abilities to warrant an interview.

Typically, the first stage of the process is designed to help determine your overall suitability. The follow on stages are used to assess you against more specific criteria for the job. For example, an interview may be followed by another panel interview or a session at an assessment centre.

Interviews allow you and the interviewer to find out more information. For the interviewer, it provides an opportunity to investigate the information on an application form and establish the candidate’s suitability for the post.
For the interviewee, it provides an opportunity to find out more about the job, the organisation and its culture so that you can decide if you want the job.

Telephone interviews are common, and though not face-to-face, you still need to carry out the same degree of preparation:

  • think about their likely questions?
  • think about your answers
  • try to show commitment and suitability
  • approach the interview as a formal conversation
  • try and project your confidence and enthusiasm.

The employer's perspective

Candidates often fail to address certain common issues at interview, employers report that many people do not:

  • sell themselves effectively
  • elaborate on responses
  • discuss items on their application form
  • show enthusiasm and interest in the job or in the organisation
  • make eye contact with the interviewer.


Find out as much as you can about the job and company, a simple web search will tell you a lot. Try and find answers to the following questions:

  • What are the main duties and responsibilities of the post?
  • What skills and qualities are required?
  • Is there a job specification or job profile I can read?
  • Could I talk to someone who does a similar job prior to the interview?
  • Can I identify what questions I might be asked about the job?

CURRENT STUDENTS AND GRADUATES: Explore our online resources and employer video advice on Employability Online.






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