Interview tool: Planning your sessions

Suggestions of activities to help your pupils prepare for interviews.

About 2 mins

There are a wide range of activities that can help individuals prepare for interviews. The Interview tool is a good place to start for young people in school. We suggest that you combine this with other activities to help individuals be as well prepared as possible.

Below are four areas you could focus on.

Confidence

Confidence in an interview is a must. Getting used to the idea of talking out loud can help. You could use crib cards to pick random topics for individuals to talk about for a short period of time. This could help them get used to answering questions they might not be prepared for in an interview and improve communication skills in general.

Exploring body language at interviews would help individuals understand the importance of showing confidence. You could use role-play to enact a series of interview situations, e.g. waiting to be called, shaking hands, sitting opposite interviewer and leaving the room, with individuals playing out a range of different postures/actions and analysing these.

Preparation

The Interview tool is great for those at school or those wanting to experience a competency-based approach, but for others it might be worth setting up realistic mock interviews with employers or even role play in groups. These interviews could be filmed and played back to individuals – an uncomfortable but worthwhile way to increase self-awareness and enable proper reflection!

A common complaint from employers is that interviewees haven’t found out enough about the employer or role before they turn up. We’ve created an activity with to introduce the importance of doing some research to individuals.

Competency-based interviews are becoming more common. It could be worth spending some time on how to prepare for these with individuals, e.g. analysing a specific job description to extract competencies and for each one preparing a STAR response.

Our information about interviews will also help with introducing these topics.

Employer’s perspective

You could try asking individuals to think about an interview scenario from the point of view of the employer. It may also be worthwhile creating a role-play activity where individuals take on an interviewer role and assess interviewees. This exercise could be extended to include the whole application process.

Reflection

Reflecting on a previous interview experience and what could be improved for the next time can also be very valuable. If young people don’t have any interview experience, they could reflect on their mock interview experience. This could be made easier and more effective by filming the interview and playing it back.