How to be successful at interview

To do well at the interview you will need to convince the interviewer you are either technically qualified to do the job or just the person they want in their college. You will also need to show that you are sufficiently motivated and keen enough to get the job done well, work hard on the course and that you will fit in with their organisational structure and the team in which you will work.

Before your interview find out everything you can about the company or college (read their annual report or prospectus). Re-read your application and CV to make sure you remember what you wrote! Think through your own experiences to date and the questions they might ask you. You should try to anticipate the general questions which they will ask and also prepare some questions to ask them.

Things to think about

You should dress smartly for the interview and should leave home earlier than you need to on the day of the interview - you may be delayed by traffic or for other reasons. Be courteous to all employees of the company/college and anyone else you meet or are introduced to. At the interview itself you must be positive about yourself and your abilities - but do not waffle!!

Your Progress File is a great way to remind yourself of some of the achievements you have had and can be a good lead in for conversation in the interview.

Before attending an interview you should think about your responses to the following sorts of questions. Your answers may depend on the job or college course in question, so you should go through your responses before each interview.

Before you go

  • Confirm that you will be there.
  • Sort out what you are going to wear well in advance.
  • Find out how to get there, give yourself plenty of time in case of unexpected holdups. Check out travel information on web page help!
  • Find out some information about the College or Company.
  • Think about some of the questions you might be asked and the possible answers.
  • Read through you application form and progress file.
  • Can someone help you with a practice interview
  • Do you need to take anything with you? Check the letter inviting you.
  • Prepare some questions that you might ask. Training opportunities, prospects for promotion, sporting activities, hours etc.
  • Have you any special needs that the college or employer needs to know about?

At the Interview


  • People will start assessing you as soon as you arrive! Be there on time, maybe even a few minutes early.
  • Dress well, clean and smart, look as if you want to do well, the effort will be noticed and appreciated.
  • Be positive about yourself, believe in yourself!
  • If asked about something you don't know, explain that you are unsure but will be willing to learn it.
  • If you don't understand the question, say so and ask them to repeat it.
  • Smile and be friendly.
  • Answer questions as completely as possible without waffling!
  • Speak clearly, when nervous we tend to talk too quickly so take a breath, think about the answer and go slowly.
  • Show that you are interested in the job or course.
  • Look at the person who is asking you the question.
  • Don't fidget
  • Turn off your mobile!
  • Don't chew gum!
  • Give full answers, not just a "Yes" or "No"