Job interviews


Job interviews

Some points to remember

A job interview is a formal meeting in which an applicant is asked questions to determine their suitability for a particular job.

Interviews can be daunting, but with preparation and practice, you can learn how to navigate this process. We have a number of resources available to help you present your best self at interviews to impress employers.

They can take place face to face or online, but whatever the method, preparation is the key to being successful. See our break down of the different types below.

Take a look at our guide, Preparing for interviews, which offers lots of useful tips and advice.

Types of interview

Interviews can take place in a variety of formats - a few examples are:

  • 1:1 (informal chat)
  • Panel
  • Video (Zoom/Teams)
  • Telephone
  • Group

Watch our video for an explanation of types of interview.

Assessment centres

Assessment centres can form part of the interview process, they are group tasks and activities where you'll take part in group discussions, written tests and presentations to test your suitability for the job.

Read our guide to Preparing for an Assessment Centre.

Types of question

Employers can vary the interview questions they ask. Types of interview questions that you may come across are:

Watch our video for an explanation of these question styles and how to answer them.

Job interviews

STAR - How to answer competency questions

The STAR technique

The STAR technique is useful to follow when answering interview questions that require examples or evidence, such as competency questions. This is because it provides you with a comprehensive structure to best demonstrate your experience. See below for our explanation of the technique:

S = Situation. Begin by placing the example you are using into some kind of context for the reader, i.e. when and where the event took place.

T = Task. Describe what it was you had to do - what was the overall objective? Where there any constraints acting upon you as an individual, or as a group, e.g. budget.

A = Action. Describe what you did to complete the task. NB: even if you are describing a team situation, describe how you made a difference to the outcome and role you took within the team.

R = Result/Review. What was the outcome? What did you learn from the experience?

This formula can help to answer interview questions by building an answer that demonstrates that you have the skills and experience that employers are looking for. Some of the best answers may sound simple, like going into detail about how you use Google Calendar to organise your time, but doing this shows you understand the question and can back yourself up when you say you have the skill. For example:

Can you give me an example of a time when you have worked as part of a team?

Consider these two responses:

'I play football once a week as part of the University team. We’ve won eight out of ten matches this season.'

'I play football once a week as part of the University team. During matches, I listen to team-mates for instructions and pay attention to anticipate their next moves. I communicate with the coach about how I could play better and share ideas with the rest of the team. We’ve won eight out of ten matches this season.'

The first response is basic and offers the employer very little. The second response uses the STAR technique and explains what the skill is by going into detail and describing what using the skill involves. Think about how your experiences can be aligned to the STAR technique and begin to master competency interview questions.

Job Interviews


Unlimited on-demand mock interviews, providing students with instant actionable feedback.

Shortlist.Me is a fantastic opportunity to gain excellent interview practice through realistic interview simulations online, which have been accredited by a multitude of top graduate employers.

  • Choose from a wide range of different industry-specific interviews including Admin, Engineering, Marketing, Finance, and much more!
  • Rehearse your answers under the pressures of a real interview.
  • Play your responses back, and learn how to improve based on expert guidance provided by Shortlist.Me.
Job interviews

Mock interviews

Our careers advisers offer you the chance to practice your answers in a mock interview setting and provide feedback on how to improve your performance for the real interview. If you'd like to book a slot, please email careers&, with a copy of the job description/person specification you would like to base your practice interview on and include your availability.

Appointments are available for current students and graduates of the University of Salford only.

Job interviews


Gain tips and ideas about how to prepare for job interviews to make you feel more comfortable and confident with the interview process, by attending one of our live workshops or using our Getting Interview Ready Linked In Learning Pathway.

Speak to a careers adviser

Get guidance from our friendly team of advisers. Book an appointment or call 0161 295 0023 (option 5, option 3). 

Open to current students and Salford Alumni only.