Whether you’re ready to apply for new roles, apprenticeships or internships, there’s one thing that’s for sure: attending interviews will be a core part of your next steps!
Interviews are essential to the job application process, but that doesn’t stop them from feeling daunting.
While they might be nerve-wracking, we promise the more practice you do around them, the more confident you’ll be! We’ve put together this handy guide to help you on your way.
Why Do We Have Interviews?
When you’re invited for an interview, the employer wants to ensure you match what’s been presented to them on your application.
They’ll be interested in the following:
- Checking if there’s a strong alignment between your personality, career goals and their team culture.
- That you’re confident in your skills and able to articulate how they match the role you’re interviewing for.
- You understand what’s expected of you, and the examples you use to answer questions will help them to achieve this understanding.
- What you’ve said on your CV matches what’s presented in person.
What Are Behavioural Interview Questions?
Behavioural interview questions are the most common questions you’ll be asked. They are a specific style of questioning that aims to understand how your experience meets the core skills/competencies required for the job you have applied for.
These questions will usually begin with a framing, such as:
- ‘Tell me about a time when you …’
- ‘Describe a situation when you had to …’
- ‘Can you give an example of how you have …’
When answering these questions, you can use examples from your experiences, including study, part-time work, volunteering or internships.
Other Types of Interview Questions
Below are a few examples of interview questions you might be asked and the key area they’re trying to address:
Tell me about yourself.
Why are you interested in this field?
What was your favourite/least favourite subject and why?
What are your top 3 accomplishments?
What are your short- and long-term goals?
Why should I hire you?
Why do you want to work for our company?
What changes would you make at your school/college/university and why?
What would your last boss say you need to work on the most?
What does a good workplace culture look like to you?
Describe your most rewarding college/work experience.
Describe your ideal job as a new graduate.
What are your aspirations for life? Describe a clear picture for me.
Describe a goal you have set for yourself in the past year?
What is your biggest weakness? Why?
What is your greatest strength? Why?
How do you work under pressure?
How do you balance your studies with working and hobbies?
How do you determine and evaluate success?
How have your studies prepared you for your career?
What have you learned from your extra-curricular activities?
What have you learned from your mistakes?
What qualifications do you have that will make you successful?
Questions for YOU to ask
Asking questions at the interview is important for a few reasons:
- It demonstrates you’ve done your research by asking specific questions to the company.
- It shows you’re engaged and genuinely interested in the role and the company.
- It helps you discover more and ensure this is a good fit for you.
Keep questions open-ended (what, when, how, who, when), and don’t just ask for the sake of asking, make sure you’re interested in the answer!
Here are a few good examples:
- What initial training or mentoring support will I have when I start?
- How big is the team that I will sit within? What is the management structure like?
- What are the three key priorities for me in the role if I am successful with my interview?
- How will my performance be evaluated in the role?
- Why has the role become available? Is this a new position within the team?
- When can I expect to hear back following my interview?
- What are the next steps following my interview? Will there be a second interview?
DO NOT ask questions about salary, holiday leave, benefits, or promotions at this stage. This creates the wrong impression about what your priorities are.
These are questions to discuss when you have a job offer and before you sign a contract.
Find Your Next Role!
Our employer partners work with us because they’re committed to offering young people early opportunities that will help shape their future careers.
And the good news is you can explore everything they offer here at Explore Careers!
Our employee interview series is also a great way to get familiar with an organisation before you attend an interview, and they’re filled with tips from people who know how to succeed! Just filter the blog by the ‘Employee Stories’ category tab and give them a watch.