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Interview Tips

25th October 2023

By Ben Walker

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When you’re looking for a new job, an interview is a standard part of the process. They allow your potential employer to meet you, and see what you’re like in person. But, they also offer an opportunity for you to see what kind of environment you would be working in, and for you to ask questions too. This guide will talk about interviews, what you should prepare, what you should ask and more.

The type of interview

Interviews used to be solely done in person, however it’s becoming more commonplace to have interviews over the phone or video chats. But, regardless of how your interview is taking place, it’s important to always be polite, confident and enthusiastic. 

When you go to an interview, there could be just one person, or many. If it’s just one person, it’s known as a one-to-one interview, and is much more common with smaller companies. 

In some situations, you may attend a panel interview. This is when there are two or more interviewers. In these situations, make sure you are talking to every member of the panel. You may also be asked to do a presentation to the panel, which would require some preparation. 

The final type of interview you could face is a group interview. In this case, you would be with a number of other candidates, and have to stand out from the crowd by showing you can work with others, put your ideas forward and engage in the conversation.

Interview questions you may get asked?

There are a variety of questions that you could get asked when you go for an interview. Ultimately though, it depends on the position you are applying for.

The questions you are most likely to get asked are those that show your ability to perform the job. You should prepare some examples on what experiences and abilities you have that would help you with the job. If you can’t think of any professional examples, then experiences from your personal life would still work. 

Often, you will be asked about your general strengths and weaknesses. Interviewers hear the common answers far too often, such as “a team player” or “hard working”. Instead, try to set yourself apart with examples such as:

  • Creativity
  • Taking the initiative
  • Versatility
  • Always willing to learn
  • Dedication and integrity

Being able to identify your weaknesses as well can show you as a well rounded candidate. Obviously you don’t want to list things that would make you unsuitable for the job. Instead, mention areas where you know you can improve in, or are already taking steps to improve. Examples of these could include:

  • Presentation skills
  • Self criticism 
  • A particular aspect of the job (software or activity)
  • Being too introverted

Going into the interview saying you are a very lazy, messy person who likes to argue may not be the best way to secure the position.

Depending on the job, you may have to answer questions about specific skills or knowledge related to the job. This is more common in sectors like science, IT, finance or law. In these situations, preparation is key. Make sure you know what your potential employer is looking for before you turn up to the interview.


STAR is a method of giving examples of previous experience you may have. 

S – situation. This is the situation you had to deal with.

T – task. This is the task you were given, or the aim.

A – action. This is the action you took.

R – result. This is the outcome of the action you took. This will include what you learned from the experience as well as how it affected the business.

By using STAR you can plan ahead and have specific examples of how you affected a business.


Preparing for your interview is key if you want to get the job. While turning up and winging it may seem like a good option, interviewers can nearly always tell if a candidate is unprepared. This makes it seem as though you are not serious about getting the job. To make sure you are properly prepared for the interview, make sure you do each of the following.

  1. When you apply, actually read the job description. Make sure you know what qualities the employer is looking for and how you match them.
  2. Look up the company online. If you show knowledge of the company, including products and future plans, you will show an interest in the business.
  3. Make sure you know your CV. The interviewer will likely ask you questions about your CV, so make sure you know what you wrote.
  4. Remember STAR. 
  5. Ask a friend or family member to help you practice answering questions. Also practice any presentations you may have to make.
  6. Think of some questions for you to ask the interviewer. Make the interviewer sell the job to you. Don’t ask about holiday and tea breaks. Do ask about opportunities to progress, any current challenges the company is facing and its aspirations for the future. 
  7. Wear something appropriate for the job you are interviewing for, but also comfortable. For example, turning up to an interview for a law firm in a tracksuit may not be the best option.
  8. Make sure you know exactly where you are going and plan to be there 10 minutes early. If you are going to be late, know who you have to call to let them know.

Interview Day

When you arrive for your interview, make sure you switch your phone off and stay relaxed. Nerves are to be expected, but take a few deep breaths and accept that if you don’t get the job, it’s not the end of the world. From here, you want to be confident when you meet your interviewer.

Once the interview starts, make sure you are polite and are not rambling on. You want to be able to get your point across clearly and effectively. Also make sure you are paying attention to what you are being asked and think before speaking. You may be asked a question that you haven’t prepared for, so take your time to make sure you answer as best you can. 

Make sure you also have to show what you have learned from your experiences, but be as positive as possible about them. You want to be honest about your past experiences, but explain how they shaped you and made you better for this position.

If you can, ask a few questions. This will show you are thinking about whether this company would be a good fit for you. Questions such as “are there opportunities to progress” or “what kind of training would be supplied” would show you are interested in the job.

At the end, thank the interviewer for their time, and that you look forward to hearing from them.

After the interview

If you get a job offer after the interview, you should let the company know soon whether you accept it or not. This is also a good time to iron out all the final details such as when you will start. You can also confirm information such as pay, holidays, responsibilities and more.

If you do not want to accept the job, politely decline the offer. You may want to work for this company at some point down the line so try not to burn any bridges.

If you are not offered the job try to stay positive. It is not the end of the world, so use it as a learning experience. If possible, ask the interviewer about what you could do better, and then practice interviews with friends and family.

So, key details to remember for an interview are to be confident, prepare ahead of time and practice. You are asking for the company to invest their time and money, so come prepared and do your best. But remember, if you don’t get the job there are always more, so treat it as a learning experience.

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