GUEST BLOG: How to be successful in interviews

UoY Careers Balloon illy Guest blog written by Jenny Davies, Graduate Recruitment and Events Coordinator, FDM Group

If you are currently in your final year at university and are looking for a graduate job, or if you are looking for an internship or placement, you will undoubtedly be asked to attend an interview at some stage. It is therefore important to ensure that you are well prepared and know what to expect.

Preparing for interviews can seem like a very difficult task, not knowing what an employer will be looking for and how to present yourself in the best way possible. However, there are a number of things every graduate can do in order to prepare before an interview…

Firstly, be confident and ask the employer for as much information as possible about what the interview will entail. Will the interview questions be strength-based or competency-based? Who will be present during the interview and what is their role within the company? This will enable you to research what types of questions might be asked, and give yourself an idea of who you will be meeting.

Remember to always research the role, company and sector extensively to show the interviewer that you are really interested in the position being offered. What makes this company different to its competitors? When was the company founded? Has there been anything in the news recently about this company? Why do you want to work for this company specifically?

Interviewers want to see that you are enthusiastic and passionate about working within their company and industry. Prior to the interview think about how you can demonstrate this. Do you keep up to date with things going on in the industry? Have you done anything in your spare time that developed transferable skills?

Practice answering standard interview questions before the interview; practice with friends or family or attend mock interview sessions run by your careers service at university – the more you practice the more confident you will become!

The key to succeeding at an interview is not just in the answers you give. Remember to think about your body language. Show open body language, good posture, eye contact and don’t forget to smile!

Be honest with your answers. Do not try and say what you think the employer wants to hear; the chances are that they have heard the standard answer many times before. Employers want to hear your thoughts, and if it is not in line with what they are looking for then the job may not be right for you.

Lastly, always be confident in your abilities – remember that you must have done something right to be invited for an interview!

If you are interested in a career in IT or business take a look at the fantastic opportunities that our Graduate Programme has to offer. Last year we recruited six graduates from the University of York and this year we want to help even more of you kick-start your careers! For more information or to apply online visit our website: