An interview is essentially a business meeting. The interviewer promotes the job and you promote the skills and experience you have to do the job. Like all meetings preparation is important.

How to prepare for an interview

These tips may help you prepare towards a successful interview:

  • Know all the interview details (e.g. time and location, duration, number of people on the panel)
  • Re-read your application form
  • Prepare for any tests
  • Prepare examples to demonstrate your skills and abilities
  • Think of questions you might be asked and questions you would like to ask the panel
  • Practice being interviewed with a person you trust
  • Be positive about your strengths
  • Arrive in good time
  • Take any relevant documents with you (e.g. qualification certificates)
  • Have a glass of water during the interview, this can help you clear your throat and also give you an opportunity to think about the question you are being asked
  • Visualise success

Competency based interviews

A competency based interview looks at how you have performed a task in the past, to indicate how you may perform a similar task in the future. It looks at how you do things, not just what you do.

Competency-based questions focus on how a candidate has handled specific situations in the past.

This helps to give the interviewer a better understanding of what they can expect from a candidate in the workplace.

It is important that you give examples of actual situations you have experienced, or you may struggle to provide enough detail on the spur of the moment.

Competency based questions usually begin with phrases such as:

  • Tell me about a time when…
  • Give an example of…
  • Describe a situation….
  • Can you describe an occasion when…
  • Tell me what you have done…

Updated: 15 March 2018