Effective Interviews

Careers, Employment and Enterprise 

Want a part time job while studying? A Placement or Graduate Scheme? Well UH’s Careers, Employment and Enterprise service hosted the Effective Interviews Workshop to help.

Here are some important tips that will ensure success by highlighting what to expect and how to prepare:

Before your interview: 

Preparation is key

Remember the quote, ‘Fail to prepare- Prepare to fail’

Effective Interviews image 1

Evaluate your interests, skills

and qualifications- Ask yourself what can you offer?

Provide evidence that you can do the job

Highlight the specific skills the employer wants

and give evidence that your skills match

Employers want to know: 

WHY THEM? The company, their aim, the industry

WHY THIS JOB? The role, responsibilities, opportunities

WHY YOU? Soft skills, academic record, motivation

Know what format your interview is in:

  1. One-to-one

  2. Panel

  3. Telephone/Video/Skype

  4. Group

  5. Multiple mini interviews

Practice the types of question you may be asked:

  1. Competency

  2. Technical/clinical

  3. Behavioural

Types of Questions you may be asked:

“Tell me about yourself?”

Top tips:

Draw out aspects of your personality (sociable, highly perceptive)

Start out with the your most recent facts, i.e. ‘I’m on track for a 2:1 in International Business’

They want to know what motivates and inspires you- they may even ask this as an individual question.

“Where do you see yourself in five years time?”

Top tips:

A level of commitment and dedication to the company, role and/or sector

They want to see leadership material

To develop skills in their particular organisation and mention interests in other sectors within the company

A desire to complete additional qualifications (continuing professional development)

“Do you have any questions for us?”

Top tips: 

This is where research plays a part again- perhaps ask about their new developments and recent projects

Ask them what a typical day, week or month may be like for your role.

What projects will you be working on? Indicates your interest and also supplies extra detail on what may be expected of you.

Depending on how relaxed the interviewer may appear, you could ask what they enjoy most about their role or working for the company. If you know who your interviewer may be, find out more about them- that is the power of technology and the very handy LinkedIn.

“Why do you want this job?”

Top tips:

Go back to the job description and tell them what appeals to you.

Tackling competency questions:

STAR Techniques:

Effective Interviews image 2

Situation you faced   Task as you saw it   Action you took   Result and reflect

Telephone Interview:

  1. Be prepared

  2. Find a quiet space

  3. Have a copy of the application and your CV in front of you

  4. Speak clearly and confidently


  1. Check your wifi connection

  2. Dress smartly

  3. What is visible in the background- make sure it isn’t your laundry

  4. Choose somewhere you won’t be disturbed or distracted

  5. Smile and show enthusiasm

A good practising tool is uh.interviewstream.com

Did you know?

First impressions are:

Body language: 80%

Tone of voice: 13%

Words: 7%

-According to Michael Argyle (Social Psychologist)


Final tips to consider:

Travel– Don’t be late! Plus if this is where you’ll be based, consider how accessible it is to get to.

What to wear- Better to be overdressed than under- but make sure you’re dressing for the role.

What to take- Be organised, not only does it look good but you’ll feel calmer knowing you are prepared

Etiquette- Be polite to all.  The difference between getting the job and not, can all depend on how you treat others, not only the interviewer but their colleagues and their clients.

For any more information or for practice interviews please head to

Email: http://www.herts.ac.uk/university-life/careers-and-recruitment/careers,

Phone:  +44 (0)1707 284791

Email: careers@herts.ac.uk

or head to Careers on either campus:

Monday to Thursday – 09.00 to 17.00

Friday – 09.00 to 16.00

The College Lane office will also be open until 19.00 on Thursdays.

College Lane – LB416, Hutton Building, next door to the Hertfordshire Students’ Union

de Havilland – M018, The Atrium

Trident Media wishes you the best for all your recent and upcoming interviews!

#Career #Interview #job #skills

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