Job interviews

Interviews are still the most popular way of selection because employers want to meet the people they are hiring.

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Use the opportunity to show that you have the motivation, skills and experience to successfully do the job.

Graduates First support your interview preparation. Stay ahead by practising aptitude tests, assessment day exercises, and video interviews with feedback.

General tips

  • Be prepared, know about the company, their sector and challenges
  • Make a good first impression – convey enthusiasm, look smart and act professionally
  • Listen carefully to the questions and answer them clearly and succinctly
  • If you are not sure about a question or don’t know how to answer it ask for clarification
  • Most importantly, be honest and be yourself. Otherwise, you’ll feel uncomfortable and the employer will pick up on it.

Practice interviews

Once you have been offered an interview, book a Practice interview with one of our career consultants, who offer a safe space to build your confidence and provide expert guidance on improving your performance. 

Competency Interviews

Employers want to know how you have demonstrated relevant skills and use this to judge how you may perform in similar circumstances in the future.

You will be asked for examples of where you have shown leadership, teamwork, communication or other skills that predict success in the role.

Structuring your examples around the STAR framework can help you give convincing answers.

S = Situation
T = Task (what you were required to do)
A = Actions (what you personally did)
R = Result/Reflection (what happened and your evaluation)

Sample questions

  • Describe the most difficult decision that you have had to make (judgement)
  • Tell me about a time when you had to demonstrate sensitivity and tact (teamwork and interpersonal skills)
  • Tell me about a time you have persuaded someone to change their mind about something (influencing)
  • Tell me about a time when you had to overcome multiple obstacles to get something done (drive & commitment)
  • Can you tell me about a time you have gone above and beyond to give good customer service to someone? (customer focus)

Top tip:  Generating examples on the spot can be hard, make it easier for yourself by analysing the job description and preparing examples that match the key skills necessary for the job. Your examples can come from co-curricular activities, work or academic study.

Strengths Interviews

Some large employers use these. The aim is to find out what comes naturally to you, where you feel most motivated and the times when you do your best work. Employers want to choose candidates whose strengths align with the role. 

 Sample questions

  • When were you most engaged at university?
  • Where do you feel you do your best work?
  • What would people who know you best, say are your strengths?

Top Tips

  • Building your self-awareness will put you in a better position to answer questions
    • Ask yourself what energises you? What comes naturally to you?
    • Identify your strengths and values on
  • Avoid trying to second guess the strengths that employers are seeking, interviewers will be able to tell if you try to produce ‘model answers.’