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David Bulmer Employability Service. Interview Workshop. Interviews. Aims: Raise the level of your confidence in preparing for interviews Equip you with skills to perform well in interview situations. Ice Breaker. Talk to one other person & find out:

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Interview Workshop

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David Bulmer

Employability Service

Interview Workshop



  • Raise the level of your confidence in preparing for interviews

  • Equip you with skills to perform well in interview situations

Ice Breaker

Talk to one other person & find out:

  • one thing they find difficult about interviews or

  • one thing that concerns them about going for an interview

Types of Interview

  • One to One

  • Panel

  • Telephone:

  • Assessment Centre

Exercise 1– Preparing for Interviews

  • In groups of 2 (or 3) discuss how you would prepare for an interview

  • You could consider:

    • appearance,

    • questions you might be asked and

    • information you might need etc.

  • You have 10 minutes, then feedback to the group

Preparing for Interviews 1

  • Re-read your application form/CV and letter

  • Find out about the organisation and the job itself – use the internet and any details provided by the employer

  • Decide what to wear – smart, conventional is safest

  • Personal Hygiene

  • Check location, route and timing of travel

  • If possible, find out who is interviewing you

Preparing for Interviews 2

  • Ask if you need to take course work, portfolio or project

  • Predict what questions they are likely to ask

  • Prepare your selling points – skills, strengths, achievements, work experience etc

  • If there are any problems in your career history, prepare explanations

  • Draw up a few questions to ask them but be careful

Communication Styles / Body Language

Exercise 2: What Do Employers Look For?

In a group of 3 or 4:

  • Look at the person specification & decide what qualities/skills the employer is looking for.

  • Prepare a list to feed back to the whole group

What Do Employers Look For?The most frequently requested skills and attributes are:

  • Communication

  • Team Work

  • Enthusiasm

  • Motivation/Commitment

  • Business Awareness

  • Leadership

  • Flexibility

  • Confident with IT

  • Organisational


Evidence - 1


  • Good communicator

  • Good organiser


  • Worked well with customers in sales jobs

  • Arranged holiday for 6 students; organised fund raising event for children’s school.

Evidence - 2


  • Effective leader

  • Good time manager


  • Led project team on final year group project

  • Always meet course work deadlines; manage part-time job and study effectively

Types of question - 1


  • Tell me about yourself

  • Tell me about your course

  • Tell me about your job at X

  • Tell me about your hobbies


  • Why do you want to work for us?

  • What do you know about our company?

  • What have you got to offer?

Types of question - 2


  • Describe a time when you have worked in a team

  • Describe a time when you have led a group

  • Describe a time when you have had to make a difficult decision in your life

  • Describe a time when you have had to be innovative or creative

Answering Competency Based Questions

The CARTechnique:

  • Context- Describe the situation and the specific task you were faced with, when, where, with whom?

  • Action - Describe what you did - focus on your role and your input.

  • Result - Tell the interviewer what the outcome was, and what skills you developed as a result.

Using CAR to analyse a situation dealing with a difficult customer

Exercise 3

  • In groups of two or three look at the sample interview questions

  • Pick a question from 3 or 4 sections

  • Discuss how you would go about answering each of these questions

Interview Tips - 1

  • First impressions count (smile )

  • Be positive about the job and positive about yourself

  • Always sound interested and enthusiastic

  • Be honest – but don’t put yourself down. Avoid expressions like “it was only” or “I just did this” or “I am quite good at”

  • Maintain reasonable eye contact and remember that body language and tone of voice are important

Interview Tips - 2

  • Illustrate answers with concrete examples, but don’t waffle

  • It is acceptable to say “I don’t know” or ask for a moment to consider your answer

  • Be natural. How you come across can be as important as what you say

  • Good interviews don’t just happen. Practice and preparation are the keys to success

  • Summary: prepare on paper & link to evidence, rehearse in front of a mirror or with a friend, book a mock interview if you are very nervous

After the Interview - 1

  • If you have been offered feedback, do take this up

  • Try to review your own performance carefully and objectively

  • If there are areas that you feel were weak, do some more preparation on these topics

After the Interview - 2

  • Remember that getting an interview is an achievement in itself

  • An employer’s final choice at interview is often very difficult; being unsuccessful does not mean you were a disaster

  • Remember how valuable the interview was as a practice session and try to improve at the next one

Interview Resources


  • - Interviews booklet

  • DVDs: ’Why Ask Me That’? and ‘Selection Success in One’

  • Book a Mock Interview

Further Help

Employability and Careers:

  • Student Life Centre


  • Quick query, careers interview, e-guidance

  • Workshops

  • Guidance/advice/information

  • Support you for up to 2 years after graduation

  • Login