Neil Laurenson, Student Employability Activities Co-ordinator
I have been involved in hundreds of Worcester Gold Award interviews. Below is a list of tips that are based on feedback that many students have been given to help them for future interviews and presentations…
Think about what questions you might be asked and rehearse your answers…though try to avoid giving the impression that your answers are scripted!
Think of stories you can tell that prove your skills: make the employer imagine you doing the job you have applied for. Match your skills to the personal specification (for both the application form and interview).
Include everyone in the conversation – if it is a panel interview, address your answer to each person, otherwise they will feel excluded and will be more inclined to mark you down.
Set the scene and quickly move on – it’s easy to spend an answer simply describing where you worked before. The employer is more interested in what you did and the result of what you did.
Explain acronyms and any terms that the employer may not be familiar with.
There is an I in team – a question about teamwork is not a question about the team: it’s about you. Emphasise your contribution to a team in a previous role or experience you have had.
Always support what you are saying with an example of an experience or achievement.
Be proud! Saying, ‘I just did this’/ ‘I only did that’ is needless modesty and will not be admired!
Detail makes you memorable – that half marathon you did/event you organised/ 2nd language you speak will make you stand out and could tip the employer’s decision in your favour.
Have questions prepared to ask the employer at the end of the interview. You could have three questions: one about the role, one about the organisation and one about the sector.
And for presentations…
Briefly introduce yourself and what you are going to talk about.
Use a few pictures/photos and key words – too much content and/or too many slides make it difficult for the employer to listen to what you are saying.
Take your time but keep to time! Practise your presentation so the pace is comfortable and you know that you won’t regret missing anything out because you ran out of time!
Make it obvious that you have finished your presentation – at the end, ask the employer if they have any questions.