Careers and Employability Centre

Interviews

Find out how to prepare for all types of interviews and questions so you can succeed and secure the opportunity

Read our interviews booklet 

Our Interviews [PDF 691.22KB] booklet offers guidance on preparing for an interview and how to answer questions using the STAR method.

Practise online 

Test and record yourself in a mock interview situation with the Big Interview. Includes comprehensive video training, an interview question database and an answer builder. Register with your Sussex email for full access.

Recent Sussex graduate? Login via CareerHub or email careers@sussex.ac.uk if you can't access CareerHub.

Graduates First also offers video interview practise. Register with your Sussex email or contact us if you are a recent graduate.

Preparing for an interview

  • Find out who is interviewing you - try searching their profiles on the organisation`s website, LinkedIn or a search engine
  • Research the organisation - visit their website and use online searches to find out what they do, who their main competitors are, and what products or services they offer.
  • Research the role - read the job description and think about how your skills and experience match the requirements of the role. Anticipate what questions might be asked and how you would answer them using the STAR method.

  • Know what to expect - your invitation may tell you what type of interview it will be e.g. who will be interviewing you, the timing, what to prepare and if there will be a test. If you have a disability and need reasonable adjustments for your interview, you can request these in your reply. 

  • Know your application - refamiliarise yourself with your CV, application form or covering letter as you may be asked specific questions based on your application. Think about how you could expand on your examples to show you have relevant skills and experience.

  • Prepare questions - recruiters will often give you the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview. Think about what you want to know about the role or organisation e.g. what training will you receive, what a typical day is like, and what long-term career options exist within the organisation. Avoid questions on salary or holidays.

Types of interview questions

You will probably be asked a range of different types of questions. These could be:  

  • Motivation - testing your interest in the role and organisation.
  • Competency-based - testing your skills and experience, and whether you have the competencies required for the role. You can use STAR to structure your answers. 
  • Strengths-based - testing your enthusiasm and energy by asking you to give examples of things you enjoy or excel at. This style of question is becoming increasingly popular with large employers recruiting for placements and graduate schemes. 
  • Technical - testing your specific technical knowledge. 

Dealing with nerves

  • Remember that an interview is as much for you as it is for the interviewer - you will be able to find out more about the role, organisation and who you will be working with.
  • Replace negative thoughts with positive ones: "I could get the job" rather than "I might not get the job".
  • Rationalise your fears - this isn't the only job available. Practise positive thinking and focus on your achievements.
  • Try out some relaxation techniques e.g. exercise, reducing stress, sleeping and eating well, deep breathing etc.

Interview questions worksheet

Tips for the day

  • Plan your journey and allow enough time to get there. Better to be early than late!
  • Dress smartly i.e. a suit or equivalent.
  • Remember that you're being observed from the moment you enter the building.
  • Maintain good eye contact and an open posture. 
  • Speak clearly and try not to rush your answers or talk too little. 
Book onto an interviews workshop

Book a space for your phone or video interview 

You can use one of our consultation booths if you need a quiet space for your interview. We can also lend you a webcam and headphones if you need them. Book via our front desk or Ask a Question.