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Test out your job interview skills with these typical interview questions and answers...
Interviews enable prospective employers to gather more information about applicants and build upon questions already put in application forms; they are also for prospective employers to check that what has been written in CVs and application forms is real.
To anticipate what form the questions might take, put yourself in the role of the employer and consider what you would like to know.
Questions are likely to cover:
They might be put as:
Don't assume that the interviewer has read your application carefully (there may have been many). Prepare your responses as if the interviewer knows little about you, but be prepared to justify anything you have put in your application.
Competency-based interviews may include 'scenario' questions, where you are asked what you might do (or have done) in a given situation or scenario. Again, thinking in advance about your own experience is good preparation to respond well.
Here is an example of a required competency in a job specification:
Ability to motivate learning in lower primary age (KS1 and KS2) children.
In an interview, this might be put as:
Challenging questions are sometimes used to find out how you react under pressure. Any question can be challenging if you have not prepared for it so it's important to:
Yes. If you don't think a question is relevant to the job application, then you can refuse to answer. All candidates should be asked the same questions; it would be considered highly unethical for an interviewer to ask female candidates about how they manage childcare, but not to ask males.
Once the decision to offer a job has been made however, it might be in your interests to respond to a personal question if it relates directly to fulfilment of the role. For example, if you have disclosed a health consideration on an application form, it would reasonable for an employer to ask for additional personal information in order to enable you to access the job safely.
The important distinction here is whether you have been offered the job. Personal information, such as family circumstances, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and health matters should be considered when job competency has been fully explored - and only if relevant to fulfilment of the role. This will often arise in a follow-up interview.
For more information and advice, see equality and diversity.
Where you are asked to bring a portfolio of work to the interview, for example, in a creative/design job application, you are likely to be asked questions about:
Group interviews are carried out by prospective employers to observe how candidates perform in a competitive group situation.
They take the form of:
Group interviews are an opportunity for you to show your group or teamwork skills and:
Effective group working is a skilful activity and benefits from practice and feedback. Your university careers service may offer training in how to manage your contribution in groups.
Good answers include:
Asking questions shows you are interested in the job and it's a good idea to have two or three prepared in advance. For example:
If you have had all your prepared questions answered during the interview, then simply explain that and indicate you look forward to hearing the outcome.
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