Leicester College Blog

Interview Skills and Employability


Ahead of this year’s Apprenticeship Week from 6-12 February 2023, we spoke to Arbaaz Cassim, Engagement Officer about helping students with their employability

Looking into the future of young adults who want to secure employment, it is key that we can develop younger people’s knowledge around confidence building, interview skills and CV building skills.

In the past, it was considered best practice to further research a role by either speaking to someone in a similar role or researching it online. It is evident that in recent years, many young people can struggle to complete an application or lack an understanding in creating a CV for a job. Many employers are only looking to hire candidates who have an interesting CV or application which stands out.

As an interview takes place, there are many factors to consider regarding preparation and knowledge about the role for which you are applying. The first step is to have a CV which is either created as a standard CV or one that is tailored to the area of employment you are looking for.

You would need to identify your strengths, work experience and achievements, and include a personal statement that best describes you as a professional. Within this, you may also want to include what it is you are looking for in your employment.

To be successful in an interview, there are a few steps to consider. Most importantly, you would need to research about the role you are applying for. This would involve reflecting on your strengths, personal experience and whether you may be a good fit for the role. Specific roles have specific requirements, so this would mean that you may need to investigate the role further. For example, you may need a particular qualification or certain type of experience to be suitable for the role.

Overall, further to the role in which you are interested, you would also need to identify the key values of the employer. This would ideally guide you in the responses you give within the interview process and how it would relate to you as a professional individual. When discussing your experience, it is good practice to always relate your experience to what the job role has to offer.

You should ensure that you are clear, well spoken, and confident in your responses. If you know that you are an individual who suffers from anxiety or is not able to retain information due to pressure, ensure that you take notes with you into the interview. This can indicate to the interviewer or hiring manager that you are well prepared and have researched the role.

The final overseeing factor within interview skills is to always ask questions if you do not understand the questions asked. Please refer to your notes or ask for the question to be repeated. When you feel that you are coming to the end of your interview, always try and ask a question that may be relatable to the organisation or a job role. This would enable you to further express your understanding for the role for which you have applied and to appear as an outstanding candidate.

Now that you have mastered the approach to succeed in an interview, it is crucial to always remember that confidence is key. Always prepare, participate and plan.

For more information and advice on employability, job interviews, preparing CVs and work skills, please contact Leicester College at apprenticeships@leicestercollege.ac.uk.

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