Tamsyn McKenna is studying BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy here at Teesside University. Here she talks about her top five interview tips.

Whether you’re attending an interview for a position on a course at Teesside University, applying for a job alongside your current studies, or looking for employment after graduating, interviews are an integral part of life and at some point, all of us are likely to experience an interview situation.

I hope my five interview tips are useful.

  1. Make sure you are prepared. This involves practising common questions that may be asked at an interview (there are so many examples of commonly asked questions online). As silly as it may sound, it’s a good idea to sit in front of a mirror and practice your answers, this enables you to identify if you fidget or use too many hand gestures. It may also be beneficial to create a portfolio of your work to present to your interviewer. If a portfolio doesn’t fit with your subject, consider putting together a list of your key achievements and skills. Research the organisation, this shows an interest in their company.
  2. Ensure you are aware of your body language. Use open body language, try not to cross your arms, fiddle, or slouch. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer and remain engaged throughout the interview. Turn off your mobile phone prior to entering the interview room, or if you’re doing the interview from home, make sure your space is free of distractions. Make sure your camera is focused on your face – not too close, not too far away.
  3. Know your strengths and your weaknesses. Highlight your strengths – the interview is your time to shine! Explain how your strengths apply to the job role that you are applying for. Often interviewers ask for a weakness but do not just give a negative point – use this as an opportunity to show an area that you have taken steps to improve. For example, ‘I can become a little nervous when speaking in front of large audiences, to overcome this I have attended events where I took on a speaking role to gain confidence in this area’.
  4. Confidence is key. Try not to let nerves get the better of you. You know your attributes and what skills you could bring to the organisation.  Show your passion.  Maintain a positive outlook throughout the interview. If you begin to stumble on your words, that is fine…we are all human, take the time to take a breath, compose your thoughts and then continue with the interview.
  5. Be yourself! This is the final and most important tip.  It is as simple as that.

If you do not get offered a position, try not to take it to heart.  Use this opportunity as a learning curve and ask for feedback.  Ultimately, any interview that you receive is an achievement, this means that the employer found something in your CV that stood out to them.

Remember that the University is here to help you! There’s so much advice and guidance available – visit the careers pages to get you started.

Tamsyn is part of our brilliant speak to a student team– you can live chat to Tamsyn and the rest of our student team throughout the week. 

Visit our speak to a student page to find out how.