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Interviews

If you’ve been invited to an interview, congratulations! It means you’ve convinced the employer that you are suitable for the role. This is your chance to shine and to prove how you meet the employer’s requirements.

Interview support

To practise interview questions book a careers guidance appointment (add a comment to say that you want interview practise and giving details of the job/employer) or attend a Job Search Advice appointment or job search advice drop-in. Bring along a copy of the job specification and your application. You can also practise video interviews.

How to prepare

  • Be prepared to expand on everything you have mentioned in your CV and application form, think about your experiences to date
  • Research the occupational area – using the Library business databases and MarketLine Advantage 
  • Have a good understanding of the role. It will show if there’s any doubt as to your interest, knowledge of the job, sector or company
  • Research as much as you can about the organisation using, websites, news, brochures, business databases etc. How does it differ from other occupations / graduate schemes / internships?
  • Keep up to date with business news, global events and current affairs, consider how these affect your job sector
  • Watch Interview Masterclass - listen to extracts of mock interviews with Warwick students and employers
  • Students share their interview experiences online e.g. Glassdoor or WikiJobs

On the day

  • Dress smartly(Video clip) – even if the usual dress-code is casual/informal
  • Plan your route(Video clip) - arrive promptly, think how you will cope if there is an unexpected delay
  • First impressions(Video clip) - remember that you are on show from the minute you arrive, make a good impression
  • Answer all the questions carefully – take a moment to think before answering
  • Be positive in everything you say. Don't make negative comments about previous employers, tutors or your school
  • Don't let a friendly, informal interview style lull you into a false sense of security, still be professional
  • Don't be afraid of silence. If you have finished what you have to say and the interviewer remains silent, don't keep talking to fill the gap
  • Be aware of body language and try to maintain eye contact. If it is panel interview you need to keep eye contact with all the members
  • Use examples from different experiences
  • Prepare some intelligent questions to ask at the end.

Interview questions

If you have prepared well and done your research you should be able to answer even the most challenging interview questions. Try to remember that the interviewer is trying to get the best out of you so think of it as an opportunity to show them what you know. Interview questions fall into the following categories:

    Typical question: why did you choose your degree subject?
    • Biographical – designed to find out more about you, and put you ‘at ease’
    Typical question: Give an example of a time when you’ve demonstrated initiative?
    • Competency – designed to draw out evidence of core skills. Use the CARE framework to help you to plan your answers.
    Typical question: Your manager has a sudden accident and you are left in charge of a big project. What do you do?
    • Hypothetical – designed to test your ability to think quickly, hard to anticipate
    Typical question: Why do you want the job?
    • Motivational (Video clip) – designed to test motivation and commitment
    Typical question: What energises you?  (Video clip)
    • Strengths-based (Video clip)– designed to find candidate innate aptitudes, difficult to manipulate

    Top tips for answering questions

    • Use examples from different experiences e.g. academic, work experience, extra-curricular activities
    • Avoid giving yes/no answers - try to expand, and illustrate your examples using the CARE framework
    • Be precise - don't ramble, try to make your answers as clear as possible
    • Make sure you tell the interviewer what they need to know and convince them you're the right candidate
    • Don't be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat or clarify the questions.

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