How to succeed at interviews

Being invited to an interview means an employer thinks you could be the right person for the job. While it is always great to reach this stage, you will be one of several candidates vying for the position, so you need to ensure you make the most of the opportunity and sell yourself effectively.

Interviews can be nerve wracking and stressful situations but with a few simple techniques, good preparation and some positive thinking you will give yourself the best opportunity to shine.

Different types of interview:      

Telephone - Initial employer call that eliminates candidates based on essential criteria. Successful applicants are usually invited to the one-to-one stage.

Video - Whether through Skype, FaceTime or YouTube, this type of interview is increasingly popular for graduate roles in sales, media and marketing. They’re usually held during the initial screening process.

One-to-one - Face-to-face encounter with one interviewer, after the organisation decides that you’ve got what it’s looking for. They’re usually formal, but can also take place over lunch. You could also be interviewed by different people at different times.

Panel - Similar to one-to-one interviews, except two or more people - often from different parts of the organisation - will be assessing you at the same time.

Group - Multiple candidates are interviewed together. They’re asked questions in turn, or discuss certain topics.

Multiple mini interviews – Candidates will be interviewed by more than one interviewer.  You will usually rotate around different tables or ‘stations’ where at each station they will face different types of questions. 

Assessment centres - These involve tasks including presentations, written tests, and group, role-play and in-tray exercises. They’re used to assess a candidate’s performance in a range of situations, and last between one and three days. You’ll appear alongside several other candidates. Find out more about assessment centres here (hyperlink to assessment centre page).

"I booked a mock interview with the Careers Team and it was brilliant. Lots of the questions they asked me came up in my real interview so I felt much more confident answering them."

Ella McNulty -

Help and support available to you:

One to one support in the Careers Zone

The prospect of attending an interview can be scary, but don’t panic! Our Careers and Employability Advisers are on hand to provide tips on common interview questions to ensure you shine in the interview. To arrange an appointment, call into a Careers Zone or phone us on 0151 231 2048/3719.

Online Webinars

Learn how to prepare effectively for interviews in at one of our online webinars. We cover typical questions, effective answers and how to impress prospective employers at interview. For dates of upcoming sessions, check our events website.


As part of our Careers Zone 24/7 online careers tools, you can test yourself with interactive questions on Interview360 and get instant feedback on your performance. Build up your confidence by taking a mock interview or learn about what makes an effective answer from experienced recruiters. You can access the interview simulator here.  There are a number of other tools and assessments you can access about interviews here.

Career Mini Guide

Our handy mini guide on ‘Preparing for Interviews’ summarises some key advice for before, during and after the interview, and introduces you to common interview questions. Download your copy from the resources page.

Interview Practice Sessions

Never had an interview before and don’t know what to expect? Beat your interview nerves by booking a practice interview with one of our advisers by calling into a Careers Zone, telephoning us on 0151 231 2048/3719 or by emailing