You got an interview! It’s an exciting time and this might be the first of many interviews you have throughout your career. It’s perfectly natural to be nervous, we all feel that way when we have an important discussion or are meeting new people for the first time. Good preparation is key to helping you overcome your nerves and present yourself in the best possible light.
Think about some of these things before your interview
- What did you write about yourself in your application and resume? You should expect to be asked questions about this, so review both of these documents and think about what you would say if someone wanted to know more about you and your interests.
- We’re always interested to know why people want to work with us – make sure you know why too.
- Think about the job you’re applying for…what are the skills, knowledge and ideas we might want to talk to you about?
- Are there interesting things you’ve done that make you different to other people? Think about university projects and activities, what you do outside of study and any work experience you’ve had.
- What do you want to know more about? Do you know what questions you will ask us?
While it’s important to think about these things, try not to ‘pre-prepare’ answers. You never know the specific questions you will be asked and if you rely too heavily on an answer you have rehearsed, you may not actually give the interview panel the information they are looking for.
A bit of preparation gives you a great head start and improves your ability to recall your experience and skills quickly, allowing you to give a good answer while thinking on your feet.
What to do on the day of your interview
- Professional presentation is important, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money on new clothes. For men, a suit or business pants with a shirt and tie are fine. For women, a suit or a smart dress or pants/skirts paired with a shirt or neat top are appropriate.
- Arrive about 10 minutes before your appointment time.
- Shake hands and make eye contact with everyone on your interview panel.
- Speak clearly and confidently.
- Take time to think about the question and the answer you are forming before you start talking.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the panel to clarify their question if you’re not sure what they want.
- Make sure you know what the next steps are and when you can expect to hear back from us.
- Be polite and friendly as the interview comes to an end, and once again, shake hands with the panel as you leave.
- Go home and relax!!