Unit 3 – Interview Skills

Unit 3 – Interview Skills

Preparing for an interview

Watch this short video on how not to behave during an interview

How can you prepare for an interview?

How you should present yourself at an interview:

  • Plain light collared shirt
  • Plain dark trousers
  • Formal shoes
  • Tie and jacket are optional
  • All clean, ironed and polished
  • Plain blouse or shirt
  • Dark skirt/dress or trousers
  • Formal sensible heeled shoes
  • Jacket, neck scarf and tights are optional
  • All clean, ironed and polished

Your presentation will be judged by each person you see in the business on the day of your interview, so you need to make the best possible impression.

It’s not just about if you have a new shirt or blouse, it is about you as a whole.  How you appear, smell, look…. how many times have you made a judgement based on this!  On the day of the interview, have breakfast and drink, then shower, brush teeth and hair, then get dressed, you will have less chance of getting any stains then on your clothes. If you smoke, make sure you do not do this prior to going in for your interview, the smell of smoke lingers and would be off putting to a non-smoker, if you have had a cigarette then put on a little body spray, not too much and suck on a mint to freshen your breath.

You should choose your outfit the night before and make sure it is ironed and ready to go, this helps to relieve the stress in the morning, think about where you are going, the job role you are applying for when choosing your clothes, make sure that they are appropriate.

If you have long hair you may want to tie it up to stop the temptation to play with it, no stubble, clean shaven or neatly trimmed beard.


Good personal hygiene will:

·       Create a good first impression

·       Boost your confidence level

·       Hint at well presented work

·       Show you may be able to fit in

·       Show your ability to give a good impression

·       Allow you to appear healthy

·       Make them want to spend time getting to know you

Interview Questions

What are some of the common interview questions asked?

·       Tell me about yourself ?

·       What are your strengths?

·       What are your areas of weakness?

·       What have you been doing since your last job?

·       What motivates you?

·       What did you like least about your last job?

·       What are your career plans?

·       Why do you want this particular job?

·      Why should I hire you?

– Tell me a little bit about yourself?
– What skills and qualities do you have that makes you think you are right for this job?
– Why do you want this job?
– What did you like the least about your last job?
– What have you been doing since your last job?
– Tell me about a time you have to overcome a challenge?
– What motivates you?
– What challenges might you face in this job?
– Why should we hire you?
– Do you have any questions for me?

Think about how you might answer these questions – prepare your responses, remember your interviewer will want to see that you are the right person for the job.

– Make reference to the job description where possible.
– List any weaknesses as strengths or explain how you have overcome any problems/weaknesses.
– Align your skills and strengths to the person specification
– Use your transferable skills and think about times you have helped or been successful even if it is not in a work environment.

Start planning your responses to the questions above.

Interview Questions – How to answer them

What questions to ask in an interview

What questions do you think would be good to ask in an interview and what should you avoid?

Think of questions to ask that:

  • – Show you’re interested in the organisation
  • – Show you’re interested in the job
  • – Help decide if the job is right for you

As well as preparing answers to common questions it is always best to have thought of some questions yourself to ask at the interview.  Try and ask questions which show an interest in the business.  Avoid asking questions which have been covered within the job description / person specification, hence why it’s always important to review this prior to going for an interview.

Avoid negative questions, like asking about sickness, holidays what times breaks are, these may sound funny but believe it or not they have been asked before!

  • – How long is the induction process?
  • – What training will there be?
  • – Does the company support any charitable causes?
  • – Is there opportunities of overtime?
  • – Where does the company see themselves in 5 years time?

Assess your learning

Questions to Ask

Questions to ask in an interview (in no particular order!):

– How many other people work in the team?

– How often do you hold appraisals and performance reviews, will they be tied to pay increases or bonuses?

– How will my performance be measured?

– Can you describe your ideal employee?

– What do you like about working at the company?

– What scope for progress and promotion is there within the company?

– What kind of work will I be responsible for over the next year?

– Will I be expected to work late nights or at the weekend?

– Can you describe a typical day or week in the job?

– What makes this company stand apart from the competition?

– In your opinion, what is the most important attribute / achievement / quality you would like to see from me within my trial period?

– Do you have any questions about my ability to do this job?

– Are there any areas you feel I would need to work on in order to become your top choice for the job?

– Will the job involve much travelling? If so, how much?

– When are you looking for someone to start?

– When can I expect to hear from you?

– What challenges might I face in this position?

Tips for interview success

Hover to reveal


- Sit up straight and maintain eye contact – no fidgeting.
- Speak clearly and with passion.
- Give examples to support your answers.
- Ask sensible questions which get you instant feedback.
- Thank them for their time.
- Good self-presentation – wear nice appropriate clothes and not overpowering scent.
- Be confident.
- Smile and have a firm handshake.
- Make appropriate small talk, avoids any awkward silence.

Interview skills presentation​ video