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After the Interview
Before your Interview
During your interview
Why do employers use interviews?
Employers interview to find out three things:
Can you do the job well?
Show evidence of your qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience
Will you be motivated to do the job?
Demonstrate that you are motivated, committed and enthusiastic about the job and organisation
Will you fit into the organisation?
Convince them that you have the right qualities to work with other people and will fit in.
Be aware of your strengths & personal achievements
Research the job
Research the organisation
Different types of questions
Prepare evidence to support any claims you have made
This will inform you of the type of interview and questions you might get asked
Be clear on:
Why the job
Why the organisation
What can you offer (highlight your unique selling points/achievements)
It is important to practice and rehearse (out loud) your answers so that you can hear how effective/convincing your answer might be.
Confirm your attendance
Check out exact location and plan your journey
Dress appropriately for the sector
(re-read instructions sent before the interview)
Get a good night's sleep
Take a few deep breaths to relax and manage your anxiety
Turn the mobile off
How to handle competency based questions
Take a second or two to compose your thoughts (have a drink of water if you need more time)
Try to vary your examples
Prepare questions for the interviewer
Avoid asking about salary/holiday (save this for the negotiation after the job offer)
When will I hear the outcome?
Remember to use the STAR technique to structure your answers to competency based questions
Reflect - learn from the experience
Move on and don't take it personally if you are unsuccessful
Write down the questions you were asked for future preparation
Review your performance critically:
What went well? What didn't?
What might you do differently in the future?
Get feedback from the employer
Don't get discouraged - treat each interview as a chance to develop skills
the employer and gain an understanding of the job role/sector
Invest time -
Think about your body language
is key - don't undersell youself!
Seek advice from the
Aim: to provide a range of resources to enable you to prepare and perform more effectively at your next interview
3 Stages to an Interview Process
Describe the situation briefly
Be clear and concise
What was your role?
What did you do? How did you do it?
Be specific (use "I" and "my")
The outcome. What did you learn?
Email the employer to say thank you
Congratulate yourself if successful....
For further help....
Visit the Careers Service
Level 5, Sherfield Building
Tel: 020 7594 8024
Mon – Fri - 10.00 – 17.15
20 minute consultation:
10.00 - 17.00 daily. Book on JobsLive from 7am on the day you wish to see someone.
40 minute consultation:
to discuss any career related issues, book in person or telephone
Types of Interview
The presentation will include:
Videos of employers perspectives on interviews
Mock interview videos with feedback from Imperial Careers Consultants
It’s also your chance to find out more about the organisation and the job:
What exactly will you be doing?
Who will you be working with?
Will you enjoy working there?
Is it the right job for you?
- A typical first interview will last around 30 minutes and could be face to face or by telephone. The interviewer is likely to be either a Human Resources (HR) professional or someone from the department in which you would be placed.
- Employers use the second interview to gather more detailed information about who they want to appoint. Candidates seen at this stage are definitely thought able to do the job. Your task is to confirm that positive impression.
- A typical interview panel might comprise of a HR professional, a line manager, a technical expert and someone from a different department, perhaps more senior.
- You need to prepare just as thoroughly as for a face-to-face interview. Be aware that there are no visual cues from the interviewer hence you need to effective in how you use your voice to show enthusiasm. You can have lots of notes to refer to if you wish.
with one of our Careers Consultants, a graduate recruiter or attend a group mock interview workshop.
Further details are available on our website http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/careers/resources/adviceandguidance/mockinterviews
Company information folders
- use these to research the organisation as part of your preparation
Employer Interview Feedback Folder
- a collection of feedback from other Imperial students who have attended interviews at a variety of companies
- A collection of materials on "Interviews" and "After the interview" is available
- such as "Brilliant Interview", "Great answers to tough interview questions" and "Case Interview" available from reception
- on case study interviews and general graduate interviews available from reception
Advice on preparation before the interview
Examples of questions at a mock interview with our careers consultants
Advice from employers:
Answering a competency based question on problem solving
Types of questions
Watch the "landings" - how your answer impacts on the interviewer and their body language
Listen carefully to the question
General opening questions
Tell me about yourself
What is your greatest achievement
What interests you in this role?
Who are our main competitors?
Tell me about a time when you have worked in a team.
How many bricks are being used in the UK every year?
Tell me about your latest project (related to the job)
How do you feel when you are presented with a problem?
Complete an interview feedback form to help future students - http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/careers/ug/applicationandselection
Answering a competency based question on planning & organising
Answering a motivation question
Competency Based questions
Strengths based questions
Commercial Awareness questions
Employers on Imperial students
Employers on PhD Researchers
The importance of preparing questions
Employers give advice on how to answer these different types of questions
Analyse this hypothetical business
How is individual performance measured?
Training and development opportunities
The Careers Information Library, Level 5 Sherfield Building
Information & advice leaflets
Careers Service Website
Interview Seminar/Group Mock Interview workshop
Caron Abramson, Barclays
Mark Allen, Careers Consultant
Brenda Carter, Wellcome Trust
Richard Freeborn, BP
Leslie Hayes-Labruto, Student
Eugenia Ho, Student
Shahida Osman, Careers Consultant
Philip Sartain, Accenture
Martin Sayers, Digital Media Producer
Robin Stone, Information Assistant
Amy Townsend, Placement & Internship Officer
We will now look at how to approach each of these stages in turn.
Strengths based interviews
Know yourself and your strengths
Have some good examples of when you have used those strengths and how they might be useful in the role/organisation
Allow your natural energy and enthusiasm to permeate your answers.
Think about what your strengths and weaknesses are before you attend the interview
Consider and list ALL your achievements - Draw on experiences from all aspects of your life – academia, voluntary work, clubs/societies, paid employment, gap year / travel etc. and have these to back up your claims
Know why you want to do the job and your long term goals
Top tips for strengths based interviews:
Strengths-based interviews are now being used by a number of graduate recruiters e.g. Barclays & Ernst & Young. This is a way of finding out what candidates enjoy as opposed to what they can do.
When you are using your strengths, you perform your best and rapidly learn new information
During a strengths-based interview, the recruiter is looking to find out what kind of activities engage you and energise you.
Interviewers may ask you to identify your abilities, such as working with others and analysing problems, or look for pride in what you do.
They will also be observing your body language and tone of voice, which normally provides cues to what you have enjoyed.
They may also ask questions relatively quickly in order to get a genuine response.
What are strengths based interviews?