Careers and Employability Centre

Interviews

Organisations invite candidates to interview to find out if they have the skills, experience and motivation to do the job, and to see whether they will fit into the team and workplace.

Common interview types include:

  • one-to-one or panel interviews
  • telephone/video interviews
  • group interviews.

How to prepare for your interview

Employers often report that candidates are unsuccessful at interview because they don’t prepare well enough. You can prepare by doing your research and thinking about practical considerations beforehand.

Research the organisation
  • What is important to them? Who are their clients and competitors? What makes them different from the rest?
  • Read the About Us or Careers section of their website.
  • Research the wider sector to demonstrate a broad awareness of their work.
Research the role
  • Go over the job specification to help you plan answers to questions about how your skills and experiences match the role.
  • Plan answers about your motivation and reasons why you want to do the job.
  • Find out about similar roles by talking to employers at careers fairs and looking at job boards.
Find out more about the interview
  • What type of interview will you be having, how long will it take, will you be asked to make a presentation or answer questions on a case-related study?
  • Can you find out who will be interviewing you? You can find out more about them online, eg. LinkedIn. This could give you an idea of what their focus might be.
Know your application inside out
  • Revise your CV, covering letter or application form so that you know it inside out.
  • It’s common for interviewers to ask questions about your application; so think about how you could expand on this, with more examples or detail.
  • Talking about your skills and experiences out loud will help you rehearse.
Prepare some questions to ask
  • Prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview in advance. Questions are a good opportunity to show your enthusiasm and research.
  • Make sure your questions are about the role or organisation, eg. long-term options in the company, key challenges in the role, a typical day in this job, when you’re likely to hear about the outcome of the interview.
  • Avoid questions about salary and holidays.
Think about practical considerations
  • Plan what to wear; smart but low key is best eg. a suit or equivalent.
  • Know where you're going and leave extra time to allow for transport or weather issues.
  • Take a copy of your CV/application/questions or portfolio, if required.

Tips on making a good impression

  • Remember that you're on show as soon as you enter an employer's premises
  • Sit reasonably upright and keep an open posture
  • Keep hands on show and minimise things you do when nervous eg. pen twiddling
  • Maintain good eye contact
  • Speak clearly
  • Remember to breathe!

Big Interview

Take a virtual mock interview, rate and share it for feedback. Plus comprehensive video training, interview question database and answer builder. Be prepared!

See Big Interview - Setting up and How to use [PDF 2.19MB]

If you are a recent Sussex graduate, login via CareerHub or email careers@sussex.ac.uk for an access code.

How to use us

  1. Come to an Interviews workshop

     

  2. Use our resources to prepare for interviews
  3. Get advice. Make an appointment or submit a question online via Ask a Question

Book a space for your interview

Did you know that you can book one of our booths in the Library for your telephone or Skype interview? We can also provide a webcam and headset if needed.

Please ask a member of staff at our reception desk or request via Ask a Question.

Presentation slides on preparing for interviews