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Interview: Tips & Advice


"It's a lengthy process. Apply well in advance and do your homework on the organisation and its strategic imperatives. Prepare questions that show insight into the business and the role you're applying for."
Graduate, Currently London
"The best preparation is to know what the company's key focus area is at the time and to talk about how you can relate to it. Think, prepare, rehearse."
Graduate, Portsmouth
"Be patient. The end-to-end process took about seven months. Be sure to prepare for the online tests and, at the assessment centre, make sure that you are yourself and participate in the group exercises in order to get through to the interview stage. For the interview: make sure that you have researched the company, are enthusiastic, know why you want to work there and why you would be a great asset."
Graduate, London
"Don't rush the application form and don't save your best examples until the interview stage – use them in your application."
Graduate, Hursley
"Practise recognising number patterns for the test, which is the same as the online one but under exam conditions. Focus on working as a team and delegating tasks when performing your team exercise. Research what's required from your job role for the interview and study up on the skills they're looking for. Also, focus on IBM's strategic areas."
Entry level, Amsterdam
"Do your research and don't just use obvious examples in the interview. Whatever your hobby is (sport for example) IBM will have a presence there."
Marketing, Graduate, London
"Know the competencies inside out. Have examples for every competency and make each example different. Variety is key here."
"Use the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action and Result) when answering questions. Learn about the company and find an interesting fact."
Graduate, London
"The initial sequence test was quite tricky, much more so than tests I'd taken for other companies. The application requires you to prove that you have met all of the competencies and asks about any additional activities you have carried out, as well as why you have chosen to apply to IBM. I think the main thing you have to show throughout the process is your passion for IBM and what it does. They also like you to be yourself."
Graduate, London
"The application process might, at first, seem daunting but it isn't that scary. It is set up in a way that allows you to showcase your capabilities in line with IBM's values to help you demonstrate whether you're a good fit for the company. I would advise spending some time thinking of your best examples to these questions and also have some back-up examples for the interview too. Examples don't have to be extravagant – they just need to be a situation where you have demonstrated our core values."
Entry level, London
"Know your stuff about the company and their technology. During group tasks, make sure you speak but don't talk over everyone just to be heard. If you notice someone isn't speaking then ask for their opinion. Try to relate your experiences to the role you're being interviewed for."
Graduate, London


"When applying there is an initial application form, arithmetic and English tests, an assessment centre, interview and another final interview. Prepare for the tests as they're very difficult, in my opinion. Don't go into the assessment centre too cocky or loud as that won't look good. Speak up when you have ideas and encourage others to share theirs, but do not speak over people."
Graduate, London
"Be aware of the company's history and some of their current activities when you are applying."
Entry level, Farnborough
"Be enthusiastic about new technology, and try to understand what IBM's main current drivers are. Understand IBM values too."
Graduate, Manchester
"Prepare, rehearse and be passionate for the application and assessments. Answer all questions you are given frankly and show the interviewer your strongest skills. Do your homework and research what IBM does and what we are looking for in a candidate. Tell us why you want to work for IBM, what is it that makes you different from the other candidates, and how can you contribute to the IBM culture."
Entry level, London/Bonn
"Prepare, prepare, prepare! IBM has always got something going on so read about it in the news and find out what current issues are affecting the technology sector and any innovations."
Graduate, London
"Proofread your application form several times, as forms are discarded if there are more than a few errors. In the assessment centre, be natural as it is about seeing if you want to work within IBM as much as it is about if IBM want you to work with them."
Graduate, Newcastle
"Know the company: you are applying for a large corporate company so the competition is high, so know as much as you can. Knowing what the 'buzz words' are, especially if you can understand and apply them in a context can really set you apart from others."
Graduate, Woking
"Prepare multiple examples for the same competency and be able to talk around them, not just regurgitate your application form. It is a bit of a cliché, but be friendly and yourself as often the interviews turn into relatively friendly chats."
Graduate, London


"Learn facts such as share price, CEO, and make it clear that you have read the website and done some research. Ask lots of questions - remember it is as much you trying to see if you want the job/fit well, as it is them seeing if you fit."
Graduate, London
"IBM is looking for balanced teams with a diversity of personalities, so there is no one correct way of behaving. My advice is simply to get a lot of sleep the night before, and arrive ready and energised to meet people and take part in team activities."
Graduate, London
"Prepare numerous examples of times you have experienced teamwork, leadership, independence, problem solving, etc."
Graduate, London
"My best advice is for the candidate to focus on their skills as well as their experience - IBM are looking for adaptability."
Graduate, London
"It's not just about the skills you have, but also your capability to learn and develop new skills. Focus on your own achievements, your goals, and your career; then you can step out in confidence and give a real impression of yourself."
Graduate, London
"Do your research - application forms and interviewers will not ask you anything that you cannot find online. Know the IBM values and address every answer to these. My advice for the assessment centre group tasks would be: don't worry about being the loudest, most dominant or even getting everything right, because they are looking at how you work as part of a team."
Graduate, London
"Learn about the company's history and more importantly, about their future direction and how they intend to make money in the future."
Graduate, London
"Read the annual report, learn the company values and practices, and really know your CV."
Graduate, London
"Find something that really interests you about the company, learn about it and talk about it in the interviews."
Graduate, London
Our 'Inside Buzz' reviews are the comments and views of recent graduate recruits, giving you a view of what it may be like to work for an organisation. Copyright of all TARGETjobs Inside Buzz material lies solely with GTI Media.