An interview is a discussion between you and a potential employer to allow the employer to find out if you can do the job. You can increase your chances of making a good impression by planning ahead on how you will sell yourself during the interview.

Preparing for an interview

For information about what you can do in advance to increase your chances at an interview - including making a good impression, planning beforehand and preparing questions and answers, follow this link.

You can also check the top common interview questions that come up most regularly at interviews.

You can get advice on how to prepare for interviews from National Careers Service advisers. They can help you to understand what employers are looking for and help you to sell your experience. You can speak to a careers coach on 0800 100 900.

A free How-To Guide: The Interview Process is available at

Interviews can be face to face, by telephone or online.

Face to face interviews

The following websites also offer tips and advice on preparing for and attending an interview:

Telephone Interviews

You might not have to worry what you look like but you need to be just as prepared and ready as you would be for a face to face interview.

Initial interviews by telephone are an inexpensive way to screen candidates in the initial stages of selection and are much more common than they used to be.

The following websites offer tips and advice on telephone interviews:

Online interviews

More and more companies are conducting online job interviews as it is simple and cost effective now that the technology required has become common place.

The following websites offer tips and advice on online interviews:

Assessment Centres

An assessment center (AC) is a technique used in the selection of candidates for a job for both internal and external recruitment. It is most often used to help determine which employees have the potential to be promoted into management positions.

Many companies are now using Assessment Centres as part of the interview process to help identify suitable candidates.

The extended selection process usually lasts one or two days but may last longer.

Assessment Centres can be either be used as an initial selection process or towards the end of the recruitment process, often after  online tests and first round interviews have been completed.

They are considered by many organisations to be the fairest and most accurate method of selecting staff and are very common in graduate recruitment.

Top tips on How to Pass an Assessment Centre, with free aptitude tests, are available from:

Explain gaps in your work history

Advice on explaing periods where you have not been working is available from National Careers Service.

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