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Meeting for an interviewWhat is an interview?

An interview is an opportunity for both you and your prospective employer to see how you will fit into their organisation. It is also a chance for you to find out more about the company and for them to find out more about you and how your previous experience could benefit their business.

What are the different types of interview?

An initial interview could be conducted by an employment agency or consultant and may be either face to face or over the telephone. Telephone interviews are becoming more common with the large number of applicants for each position and are used to draw up shortlists for face to face interviews. A face to face interview may be quite informal, more like a chat, or could involve a more formal interview panel.

How do I prepare for an interview?

  • Do some research – find out about the organisation, the department the role will be in and the role itself. This way you can discuss your experience and how it relates to the job description.
  • Know your CV – re-read your CV or the application form (if appropriate) shortly before the interview, so you can quickly and honestly answer their questions maintaining consistency with what you have already said.
  • Try to anticipate their questions – before the interview look at the job description and think about the sort of questions the interviewer may ask.
  • Prepare your responses – if you have any gaps or irrelevant jobs on your CV, think about how even these may relate to this vacancy. For example, experience of working in a team is the same whatever the type of work.
  • Any questions? – make a note of any relevant things you want to ask (so avoid focussing solely on money or holidays. Interviews are for you to assess them, as well as them you.
  • Finally, relax and be yourself – take a deep breath, remember to smile and at the end of the interview thank them for seeing you.

Learn more about interview skills

For tips on interview techniques, you might look to look at the Open University pathway Interviews.

Further information on interview skills

Watch a video on YouTube such as How to answer interview questions well.

The graduate careers website, Prospects, has some really good advice about all aspects of a job interview. See Interview tips.

Read an article on the Monster website, Ten top tips for attending interviews.

There is a variety of helpful information including FAQs on interviewing on the Reed website.