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Careers Service

Interviews

Being invited for an interview means that the employer has been impressed by your application and is seriously considering you for the job. By going to the interview well prepared, and giving a good account of yourself, the job can be yours. It is also worth noting that interview style trends change from time to time and it is worth coming to our interview skills workshops to learn about different interview styles. Check out upcoming workshops here.

 

Preparation beforehand

Preparation Beforehand

Know Yourself

Anything you wrote in your application form or CV is fair game for an interview question, so look back over your copy of it and be prepared to expand on everything in it. Know what your strong and weak points are. What will the employer need to know about you? What matters will need clarification? Be aware of what is in the news, and have opinions on it. Read the papers, particularly for the week before the interview, as interviewers will often ask about current affairs

Know the Job

Talk to people in the same type of job. Be aware of what skills and qualities are required and be able to show that you have acquired these. The more evidence you can give to show you know about the job, the more the employer will believe you when you say you are well suited to it. Refer to A Guide to Careers Information Resources to help you find out more about the job. (Available from the Careers Service and the Library Information desk.)

Know the Organisation:

It is important to have researched the company. Be clear on where the organisation is coming from and where it is going. Be prepared to show where you can fit into its plans. Refer to A Guide to Careers Information Resources to help you find out more about the company.

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On The Day

On The Day

Dress appropriately

A suit looks professional and shows that you are treating the interview as a serious occasion

Watch your body language.

Give a firm handshake, make eye contact, don't fidget

First impressions are vital.

The employer will often form an opinion of you from the first three minutes of the interview so get off to a good start by considering:

1) The employer essentially wants to find out if you can do the job
2) If you are keen to have the job
3) If you will fit in with the people who are already working there.

No matter how well prepared you are, there will be some unexpected questions. Give yourself a moment to think before you answer

Arrive early

Give yourself a chance to calm down before the interview.

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During The Interview

During the interview

  1. Speak clearly and slowly
  2. Adopt an alert, open posture
  3. Listen carefully to the interviewer
    Answer the question they ask, not the one you were hoping they would ask
  4. Look at the interviewer while you are talking
    If there is more than one interviewer, then look at the person that asked you the question, and include the others in your glance occasionally
  5. Be prepared to elaborate on something the interviewer shows an interest in, but avoid going off on tangents or waffling
  6. Stress the positive aspects of what you have done and play down the negative
  7. If you don't understand a question,seek clarification
  8. Don't give 'yes' or 'no' answers - volunteer extra relevant information
  9. Be enthusiastic and be yourself - don't be an interview robot
  10. Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer is likely to ask if you have any questions. This is your opportunity to find out more about the job. Don't ask anything you could have found out from the brochure or company file. Your questions are likely to revolve around the specifics of the job, the opportunities from training and the plans of the organisation. If they have answered all your questions, then just say so
  11. Be sure you know what comes next - how soon will they contact you, will there be a second interview? If they don't reply in the time they say, contact them to find out what the situation is.

Examples of Interview Report Forms available in the Careers Area of the Reference Section in the Main Library. Ask at the information desk if you need assistance.

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Useful resources

Useful Resources

  • Check out our videos on Interview Skills here and here.
  •  offers comprehensive careers planning advice for Irish students and graduates and boasts lots of relevant information in addition to offering an impressive virtual tour of the application process, including interviews
  • Prospects.ac.uk provide an excellent section on the interview process and a detailed section on the importance of body language at interview here
  • Try Monster.ie - They have a comprehensive section on interviews as well as an excellent article on follow-up phone calls here
  • www.targetjob.com
  • Windmills programme (PDF)

When making specific application to specific companies, check if they have a careers section on their website - many will provide their own advice on interviews, such as Central Bank of Ireland. You should, of course, thoroughly research a particular company's website upon making an application to them.

  • There are many tips on interviews in the free booklets available in the Careers Service office in CG26 And in the Careers Resource Section of the library
  • Interview Report Forms detailing DCU students' experiences at employer interviews are available in the Careers Resource Area of the Reference Section of the Main Library.

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