Interview Top Tips
7 months ago

Interviews can feel intimidating regardless of your age, experience or job role. Whether you are preparing for your first interview or not, mastering the art of interviewing is key for any opportunity. 

There are some general tips and advice I’ve found over the years that apply to any role or industry:

  • Research the Company: You need to understand the company’s values, culture, and recent achievements, and tailor your responses to align with the company’s ethos. You can do this by starting at the company’s website, but also checking out their social media pages for more up-to-date information.
  • Create a compelling introduction: Start strong by articulating your professional background and interest in the role succinctly, as you can almost always guarantee that the first question asked is along the lines of ‘Tell me a little bit about yourself’.
  • Practise common questions: Interviews are the last place that you should attempt to ‘wing it’. Research common interview questions, and practise some concise yet detailed answers to these. (You do not need to have these memorised, but it definitely will help to have practised your answers).
  • Dress & Act Professionally: Yes, some interviews are online post 2020, but this does not change the level of professionalism expected from you. For an online interview, dress as you would for an in-person interview, find a quiet place to complete your interview, and check your internet connection beforehand.
  • Ask thoughtful questions: Most people forget that interviews are 2-ways; not only are they interviewing you, but you are also interviewing them! Is this a company you would like to work for? You could ask the interviewer what their favourite part of working for the company is, expand upon something you read for the role, or ask general insightful questions to demonstrate your curiosity and enthusiasm. 
  • Be Confident: One thing many people find hard with interviews is the idea of showcasing their strengths. Yes, it may feel slightly unusual, but this is completely normal and expected when it comes to interviews. The interviewer only knows what is on your CV - it is your job to bring this to life and showcase your achievements and why you are suitable for the role.

Degree apprenticeship interviews are slightly different as they blend academic skills with real-world practicality. My previous tips definitely still apply but my top tips for degree apprenticeship interviews are:

  • Showcase your academic strengths: Mention your predicted grades but also explain why you chose those particular studies – why are you passionate about them and how have they influenced you sitting here today?
  • Prepare evidence you are adaptable: Illustrate your ability to adapt, learn, and apply knowledge effectively. One way to do this is pick 5-10 anecdotes (this could be from school, part-time work, etc) that demonstrate core skills (responsibility, adaptability, confidence, problem solving etc). Plan how to talk about these using the STAR Method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) and apply this to the situational questions you practised.
  • Understand the industry: This one is paramount. You need to be able to explain why you want to pursue a career in this industry, your thoughts on the future of the industry, the biggest challenges that the industry is facing right now, who the competitors are etc. Demonstrate familiarity with current trends and challenges and how/why you would like to get involved.
  • Have a passion for blended learning: Show you understand how the combination of on-the-job and off-the-job learning is set out, and explain why you prefer this to full-time education. The company are investing in you and your education, and want to see that you are enthusiastic and eager to learn.

Mastering interviews requires preparation, confidence, and adaptability. Use these tips as tools to help showcase your expertise and genuine interest.

Best of luck, and  feel free to contact me at @erins.techjourney on Instagram if you have any questions!

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