An interview is your chance to impress and show your potential. These top tips will help you make the best of your interview.
Before your interview
When you are invited to come to interview, you will be given information like:
- Whether the interview is in-person or online
- Whether you need to do any tests
- Whether you need to bring anything with you
If you are not sure about anything, email, message, or call and ask. You will be given a contact details for enquiries.
Crucial: You may need to book an interview online. Follow the instructions you are given. It is always fine to ask for help or guidance or extra support, for example if you have a disability.
Types of interview
It's a good idea to find out who will be interviewing you and what type of interview it is before you go.
If you are interviewed by one person, it's called a one-to-one interview. You can also be interviewed by several people, which is a panel interview. You may also be interviewed online by one or more people.
You may also be asked to interview with a group of other candidates. This type of group interview may involve informal discussion, as well as interview questions.
Some roles may need you to attend selection days, do tasks to prove you have certain skills or even undertake a piece of work with other candidates.
Instant Expert: Learn more about standing out from the crowd at a group interview.
Sometimes you may be asked to present something at an interview. Make sure to practice beforehand so that you know what you're going to say and do in the time you have.
Before the interview checklist
It is normal to feel nervous before an interview. Making up a checklist can help you beat the nerves and arrive calm.
- Check the details of where and when the interview is, and who it is with
- Ask about any tests, presentations or activities you will do as part of your interview
- Plan how you will get to your interview and how long that will take.
- Research the organisation through their website
- Think about any questions the employer might ask you and prepare some answers
- Think up any questions you want to ask the employer
- Practice answers to questions you might get asked. Get a friend or someone at home to help
- Pick out what you will wear
- Prepare a folder with anything you need to bring, like your qualifications, ID and something to take notes on
Crucial: Always think safety when applying for jobs. Check the company before you travel, and always tell someone where you will be, when and for how long. More about Job-Seeking and Safety.
At the interview checklist
Don't worry if you panic when the interview starts. Your interviewers know to expect this and they will try to put you at ease.
- Dress smartly, even if the job has a casual dress policy or uniform
- Make sure you are well presented with clean teeth, tidy hair, and deodorant if you need it
- Arrive at least ten minutes before the start so you can relax and use the loo
- Sit up straight in your chair and don’t fidget, doodle or chew gum
- Look at whoever is speaking to you, speak clearly, and smile
- Answer questions honestly and carefully, giving examples from your own experience
- Say why you want to work for the organisation, and what skills you bring
- Remind yourself that interviewers want to fill the position and genuinely want you to succeed
- At the end, thank the interviewer and ask about when you will hear about the job
Instant Expert: For lots of great tips on interviews and other skills like building a CV, log on to Barclays Life Skills.
Some interviews are online or over the phone. If you are interviewing to work in a place you have never visited, you need to be extra careful about job safety.
Anxious about interviews?
It's normal to feel anxious before an interview, you want to do your best. It can even be helpful as it encourages you to concentrate and focus.
If you feel you need more support around interview nerves, you can speak to family, friends, or School Health Nurse. Many people also find practicing interviews is really useful.
Experience: I did interview practice using video chat with a friend and it was really helpful in making me focus and think of questions to ask, and answers to give.