Performing well at interview

Tips to help you perform well at interview, and suggestions of how to learn from the experience.

Whatever type of job you are interviewing for, we understand you want to perform as well as possible.  

During the interview 

It’s impossible to say how to respond to every question you’re going to come across at interview. It’s more important to think about preparing thoroughly so that you know your material and can answer confidently and openly, whatever question you’re asked.  

When thinking about answering questions, it’s worth bearing the following points in mind: 

  • be relevant – know what they’re likely to be interested in and focus on that

  • be honest – you’ll be more convincing.... 

  • .....but consider how candid you need to be, and remember what impression you are hoping to make

  • minimise scene-setting – keep introductions to answers concise 

  • maximise your contribution - even in questions about teamwork, it’s what you – yourself - did that matters 

  • ask for clarification if needed 

  • listen, pause and think before starting your answer 

  • be alert for unspoken indications that the interviewer wants you to say more, or has heard enough (for example, body language) 

  • avoid being negative – it’s about what you’ve done, not about what you haven’t done 

After the interview 

Even if you are lucky enough to get the first job you apply for, this is unlikely to be the only interview you ever attend during your working life. It’s useful to reflect on the experience so you can continually improve your performance. It’s a good idea to make a note of: 

  • the questions you were asked 

  • the parts of the interview that went well 

  • any parts that could have been better 

  • action you need to take to improve 

You should ask your interviewer for feedback if you are unsuccessful. Many employers are willing to give advice and this will give you ideas for what you need to improve to be successful at the next interview.