Preparing for your interview
We all know that an interview can be a nerve-wracking situation, and therefore preparation is key. We hope the following guidance supports you in your preparation and helps you to perform at your best.
In preparation for an interview, we recommend that you:
Look at the key responsibilities of the role and visualise yourself delivering these. Think about what you have done in the past that demonstrates your ability to perform these responsibilities
Share examples from past experiences that demonstrate your ability to perform in the role you are applying for. Evidence has shown that past success is a predictor of future performance
We would recommend you structure your answer using the following STARR technique:
Situation - Set the scene for an instance where you have used the specific skill or competency required. Keep it brief with just enough information to provide the context or background.
Task - Explain what the task was and your role within the task.
Action - Be prepared to answer probing questions that will explore your actions, motives, and ways of working whilst delivering the task.
For example: how you went about it, why you took that approach, how you engaged with others, how you dealt with problems, who you consulted with, what decisions you had to make….
Result - Be clear what the outcome / result was – the panel will want to establish how effective you were in the described situation.
Reflection - You may be asked what you learnt in the process and whether you might do things differently next time.
What we are looking for in your responses:
- Talk about your key achievements and deliverables in the past roles
- Explain both what you have done and how you went about it
- Highlight your transferable skills for the role
Managing interview nerves
The selection panel will expect that you might be nervous and they will do their best to put you at ease. However, here are some suggestions for helping you to manage any interview nerves.
- Be sure you know where you are going, maybe do an exploratory trip in advance, the information about interview venue and link to the map will be provided within invite email
- Check your travel arrangements / parking etc ahead of the date, details will be provided within your invite email
- Arrive early and give yourself time to compose and prepare yourself
- Practice your examples
Tips for calming your mind:
- Breathe deeply and slowly
- Use positive re-framing, for example see the interview as an opportunity, not a problem
- Have a glass of water, it can help to calm your nerves
- Practice the answers you have prepared
- Give yourself plenty of time to arrive and prepare yourself before you go into the room
- Ask for more time or for the question to be repeated if you need it
For online interviews prepare the environment:
- Test your equipment in advance
- Sit away from distractions and minimise the risk of interruptions
- Think about your space – avoid physical/visual barriers
- Make sure you are comfortable
Important to note
- Read the role profile carefully. If you know what is required of the role holder, then you can reasonably prepare examples to demonstrate your suitability
- Prepare at least two examples for each criteria and structure using the STARR principle
Requesting reasonable adjustments
The University of Nottingham is a Disability Confident employer. We recognise that people with disabilities may face barriers and challenges accessing work opportunities and we make every effort to improve our processes to recruit, retain and develop disabled people.
We are committed to offering reasonable adjustments to support you to succeed in our interview and assessment process. So, if we can do anything to make our process more accessible for you, please let us know by contacting a member of our HR Team by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)115 748 4800.
In addition, if you declare a disability in your application form, and you can demonstrate that you meet the minimum requirements for the role, you will be offered an interview. Unless you ask not to be considered under the Disability Confident commitment. Please note, this information will be used to assist us in monitoring the effectiveness of our policy and will not be taken into consideration for short-listing and interviewing purposes.
If you have any support needs to help you perform in the interview and assessment that is not covered under the Disability Discrimination Act, please contact us to discuss.