Before you graduate, Careers Advice, More, Preparing for your future

Tackling interviews – a guide to success

Second year Business Management student and Careers Ambassador Josh shares his advice on tackling interviews.

Hi all, I’m Josh, the Careers Ambassador hoping to give you an insight into my top tips and tricks for succeeding in interviews. Once I leave University I know how competitive the market is for jobs so I know that having a variety of experiences is the factor that’s going to place me apart from my competition. Employers know that students have a fair amount of free time on their hands so they are looking for proactive students who are actively seeking experience in the workplace. This makes Placements and insights very important and means nailing those initial interviews is a vital skill to have in the locker.

This may all sound a little daunting but I am going to provide you with some incredibly valuable top tips to make sure you smash it.

Since I have started University, I have been involved in a variety of interviews for a mixture of roles. I have had face to face interviews with employers in the University and have had several online video interviews. All of these interviews have required a different skill set. In the face to face interview not only was I asked a set of questions but also tasked with writing emails and social media posts under timed conditions. The video interviews required me to answer questions with varied response times from 30-seconds up to 5 minutes, with some being with a current employee and some to a blank screen.

Preparation is arguably the most important step in the process of interviews as it will boost your confidence going in and will mean you are familiar and comfortable with whatever environment/format the interview takes place in.

Here are some of my top tips for succeeding in the interviews themselves.

1. Use the resources available to you

There is a huge amount of amazing support at your fingertips given to you by the University. Your Career Journey is a perfect place to start when preparing for interviews and while you are there you should check out features such as Launchpad which is exactly what you need when preparing for online video interviews. You can also book mock interviews with a Careers Adviser through your Careers Account (there is honestly no better way to prepare than these).

2. Know the organisation you are applying to

This is so important as every business is different, so researching the company is a strong place to start. Employers will expect you to have knowledge of the business and it will also help you to gauge what kind of questions you will be asked and what you should be wearing to the interview. For example, an interview with Red Bull and Barclays bank are two very different things (I can assure you from personal experience).

3. Be confident not cocky

There is a fine line between confident professionalism, and modesty. Ensure good levels of eye contact, positive body language, bring energy and believe in what you are saying. However, overconfidence is as bad as being too reserved.

4. Listen

Throughout the interview your interviewer will be giving you information directly or indirectly. Good communication consists of listening and letting them know that what they have said is heard. Match their style and pace. In line with this, don’t talk too much, prepare what you might say in advance.

5. Ask Questions

One of the main tips for interviews is ensuring you have questions to ask your employer at the end. This demonstrates that you have an interest as to what goes on in the company. The best questions come from listening to what you’ve been asked during the interview and asking for more information.

This all may seem like a lot to take on now but if you follow these tips and make the most of the help and resources available to you through your Careers Account then you will be nailing those interviews in no time!

Good luck with your interviews!
Josh O’Hara
Second year Business Management student and Careers Ambassador

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