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Interview Tips & Techniques

Interview Example and Effective Tips

A great way to start is by watching this video!

JCR Operational Document on Interviews:

See Here

Interview Tips

Read the invitation for interview again in case you have missed anything. Is there anything you need to bring? Is there anything to prepare or read? What time is the interview? Don’t be late!

  • Why are you the best for the role?
  • Why do you want the job?
  • What relevant experience do you have?
  • What skills are most useful for the position?

You can take notes into the interview with you, so make sure you note down ideas for the questions you’ve thought about. We find questions are much more developed and detailed when the candidate has thought about ideas beforehand and has notes to remind them. It also shows preparation and gives the impression that you care about the role.

Make sure you back up everything you say with an example, and I mean everything. If you can support your answer with hard evidence of a time you have demonstrated a particular skill, or why you have an interest in the position, you will look much more believable and competent, and the interviewers will be impressed! Remember, this doesn’t mean you have to have college experience! Anything you can think of that demonstrates useful skills will be valuable, and the interviewers know that not everyone (especially Freshers) has had the chance to gain college experience.

• Bad Answer: “I would be perfect for the role as I am hardworking and reliable”
• Good Answer: “I would be perfect for the role as I am hardworking and reliable. I have demonstrated this in my work for the college shop, for which I have never missed a shift and have been given the responsibility of restocking by the manager due to their trust in me.”

Highlight why what you have said applies to the position. There’s no point stating an example if you don’t explain what skills you learned and how you can apply them to the role you’re interviewing for.

• Bad Answer: “I was a prefect at school and I had many responsibilities.”
• Good Answer: “I was a prefect at school, where I had to organise and implement a rota to make sure that events were run properly and to a particular budget. I delegated tasks to different members of my team, and as a result events such as the Sports Day went very well. I had lots of positive feedback from staff and parents. This taught me the importance of using all members of a team, and the value of forward planning, skills that I believe are vital in the position of Fresher’s Rep.”

Even if it seems to go without saying, the candidate who goes into detail is more likely to come across as more suited to the role. This is particularly useful for (but not limited to) situational questions. You can’t be penalised for too much detail!

• Bad Answer: “Go and help the person being sick.”
• Good Answer: “Go and assess the person being sick. If necessary, put them in the recovery position, and then call a member of welfare. If you see someone with first aid training, ask them to help. If the person still feels unwell, it may be wise to give them water. It might also be appropriate to take them back to their room, if they would like.”

If you feel like your answer is unclear, it probably is! Sometimes explaining your thought process as you find the answer will be the best move. This will show the interviewer how you got to the answer and why you believe it to be correct. It also helps us to see how you think, and, for situational questions, how you would react and conduct yourself.

Question: What is the most important quality for a this committee?

• Bad Answer: “The most important quality is to be hardworking.”
• Good Answer: “There are many qualities that are important for this role. It is necessary to have good time management, a quality that I have displayed in my work on Team Bar, for which I have never missed a shift. Friendliness is also key, as you must be able to work well with those the committee is helping and provide a friendly face from the college. I have shown this in my pastoral work at school, for which I was a member of the pastoral committee for three years, greatly improving my interpersonal skills. The most important quality, however, is to be hardworking, as the role can at times be stressful and it is vital that the members are able to step up and support each other on the job. I have demonstrated my ability to do this when on CRC, being able to fill in for other volunteers if they are busy with academic work, and always committing myself to the project whenever I make a visit.”

You do not have to jump in right away after a question, and we will remind you of that when you come into the interview. Often people don’t think about their answer and go straight into an answer that they had prepared for a question they were expecting, not the actual question! Taking a moment can help you to really see what the question is asking, and the answer the interviewer is looking for.