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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

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

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

Types of Interview

  • One to One

  • Panel

  • Telephone:

  • Assessment Centre

E xercise 1 preparing for interviews

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

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

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

Communication Styles / Body Language

Exercise 2 what do employers look for

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Interview workshop

Using CAR to analyse a situation dealing with a difficult customer

Exercise 3

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

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

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

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

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

Interview Resources


  • - Interviews booklet

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

  • Book a Mock Interview

Further help

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