Interview techniques and tips for graduates

interview techniques

Interviews for graduate jobs come in a variety of formats: competence interviews, telephone interviews, panel interviews, technical interviews and now, strengths interviews. If you’re going face-to-face (or on the phone) with graduate recruiters then knowing what to expect and how to prepare will give you a head start and keep your interview nerves at bay. Find tips for dealing with tricky interview questions and techniques to help you come across with confidence.

'What is your most significant achievement?' Tricky graduate interview question

Avoid predictable answers by thinking ahead about achievements that are uniquely significant to you.

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Eight steps to graduate interview success

An invitation to an interview means you're well on your way to securing yourself a graduate job. But selling your skills face to face or on the phone is very different from selling your skills on paper. Here are the main steps to help you think on your feet and prepare for all eventualities.

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Strengths-based interviews for jobs and grad schemes

Find out what to expect from this new style of graduate job interview, which focuses on what you enjoy doing as a way of assessing your personal attributes and innate aptitudes.

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Technical interviews for graduate roles: the basics

For some career sectors you may be invited to a technical interview, which will be used to assess specialist skills.

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'How do you manage your time and prioritise tasks?' Tricky graduate interview question

Find out how to crack interview questions about your time management techniques and the kind of examples you might give in your answer.

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'Why do you think you will be successful in this job?' Tricky graduate interview question

Want to know how to talk about what you could bring to a graduate job? Find out how to answer with confidence.

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'Give an example of a time when you handled a major crisis.' Tricky graduate interview question

This type of question can throw you if you haven't thought about it in advance, especially as you may struggle to think of an example. However, you can turn it to your advantage.

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How to handle a telephone interview

Use our checklist to tackle your telephone interview with confidence and get through to the next stage of the application process for your graduate job.

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'What motivates you?' Tricky graduate interview question

You are particularly likely to be asked about your motivation in a strengths-based interview. Find out what recruiters are looking for and what you should avoid in your answer.

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Body talk: the right moves for graduate job interviews

How you act in a graduate job interview is important: it's part of creating the ideal package. Practise some body language techniques today so that you stay cool in the interview hot seat.

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'What is your biggest weakness?' Tricky graduate interview question

This classic tricky interview question appears to be asking you to reveal your shortcomings, but if you use the right tactics it can be a golden opportunity to show that you're right for the job.

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Dress for success at your graduate job interviews

You want graduate recruiters to remember you, not your clothes, so find out what to wear to boost your confidence and create a professional impression at interview.

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'Where do you expect to be in five years' time?' Tricky graduate interview question

When interviewers ask this they don't just want to know how ambitious you are. Find out about the response they are really looking for.

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Make the best first impression with graduate recruiters

Handshake, smile, eye contact: check! You don't need to be told that the impression you give in the first few minutes of the interview is of critical importance. Find out how to leave a lasting impression right from the start.

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'Give an example of a time when you showed initiative.' Tricky graduate interview question

Here's how to give examples of your initiative in an interview situation. You'll need to show you are capable of coming up with new ideas and thinking creatively in order to solve problems.

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Interview introductions: how to perfect your personal pitch

Knowing how to pitch your achievements and career goals at interviews, assessment centres and careers fairs could be crucial in landing yourself a graduate job. Read on to find out how to sell your skills with a quick introduction.

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'Have you ever had a bad experience with an employer?' Tricky graduate interview question

Pick up tips on how to avoid the trap of being rude about your old boss and give a positive answer to questions about any negative experiences you may have had at work.

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Panel interviews: how to face more than one interviewer

Occasionally you will push open the door to discover two or more people waiting to interview you. Don't panic! Here are our top tips for when you're facing several interviewers.

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'Give an example of your lateral thinking.' Tricky graduate interview question

What do employers really want when they ask you questions about your ability to think laterally? Find out how this is connected with your creativity, use of initiative and problem solving skills.

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Tips for graduates: how to deal with job interview nerves

A graduate job interview, like a visit to the dentist or a final exam, can fill the most confident of us with dread and anxiety. But don't panic. A few simple techniques, good preparation and some positive thinking can do wonders to reduce your stress levels and help you shine, even if you're naturally shy.

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Last-minute interview confidence boost: if you don't feel it, fake it!

We've collected some expert tips in case you need a last-minute confidence boost before your graduate job interview.

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At a glance guide to selection methods used by graduate recruiters

Graduate employers use a range of methods in the recruitment selection process. Take a look at our guide to the types of job interview and activities you might face and get some quick tips.

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How graduate recruiters use video interviews

Find out about live video interviews and recorded questionnaires and what graduate recruiters look for, whether they use FaceTime, Skype or YouTube.

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Competence-based interviews

Find out what to expect from this type of graduate job interview, which focuses on whether you can show you have the competences or skills to match an organisation's selection criteria.

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Expert performance tips for Skype and video interviews

Our expert tips will help you hone your video interview performance and avoid common pitfalls of this new approach to graduate recruitment.

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Deal with the job-hunter's biggest fear: tricky interview questions

Graduate employers use a range of interview questions to assess what you know about them and whether you're the right fit for the job. Don't trip up: use our sample questions and hints to guide your interview preparation.

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The top nine tricky interview questions and how to answer them

Here's an overview of all our guidance on how to tackle specific tricky interview questions that you might come up against in your graduate job interviews.

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