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The interview itself

Arrive on time, and make sure you make a good impression with everyone you meet. You never know if the interview panel might ask the opinion of the receptionist or person organising the interviews before deciding who to offer the job to. When you meet people, be ready to shake their hand, make eye contact, and smile. Non-verbal communication – how you come across to people in the way you act, your body language – is often considered more important than verbal communication, so focus on that side of things too.

Listen carefully to the questions they ask you, and if you don’t understand, ask for clarification. Don’t be afraid to take a moment to think about your answer, and consider using the STAR technique to answer questions:

  • Situation – briefly describe the situation you were in
  • Task – explain what you had to do
  • Action – what you did (make it clear what your own input was)
  • Result – what was the outcome, what skills you developed, and what you learnt in the process.

Prepare some questions ahead of time. You will almost always be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer/panel at the end of the interview. Make sure you don’t ask for any details that have already been provided in the information about the job; questions about what opportunities there are for training or progression, or what the company’s plans for the future are, are often good ones to ask. If you really have nothing you want to ask about, perhaps because you have already discovered the answers through the interview process, explain that that is the case. If it hasn’t been made clear, you could ask what the next stage of the selection process will be.