Internships & graduate job advice: interviews

Thinking on your feet in a interview situation is important. You can come with a question or two prepared, but it’s also good to react to the conversation and ask any questions that come to mind. This shows you are engaged. When interviewing, consider using the STAR technique to provide answers:

• Situation – set the context for your story.
• Task – what was required of you.
• Activity – what you actually did.
• Result – sell yourself with an impressive outcome!

How will the work I’ll be doing contribute to the company goals?

A question like this shows initiative and an interest in strategy and planning ahead. Show your passionate about what the company is trying to do and the role that you could potentially play in that. As a graduate, your work experience is likely to be limited, so your passion and drive is even more important.

What skills and experience are you looking for in an ideal candidate?
If asked early on in an interview, this question can give you a chance to demonstrate how you meet these requirements. Having read a job description for the role and been invited to interview – you will have some idea of this, but further information will be revealed.

What do you enjoy most about working here?

This is a great chance for you to gain insight into company culture and whether you would be a good fit. A tech start-up in Shoreditch is a vastly different environment to a corporate agency in the City, so it’s good to gage what you can expect from an average working day, the environment and team.

Are there opportunities for training and career progression?

It’s useful to be aware of what you can expect in the future if you were offered the position. Your also giving the interviewer the opportunity to really sell the role and company to you.

What not to ask:

• How long is lunch?
• How many holiday days can I take?
• Can I bring my dog to work?

Katie is a marketing executive at Inspiring Interns. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.