February 20, 2015, by Oyku Ataman

My mock interview experience

By Oyku Ataman, student blogger

Hello everybody, I just want to say that I  hope your academic work is going well; the second semester is always a bit more hectic so good luck to all of us! In this post I’d like to tell you about my mock interview.

Last semester I enrolled on the Career Skills for Linguists module of the Nottingham Advantage Award. The finale for this module was a mock interview where our CV and interview style were put to the test.

Know the company inside out

I had my interview with the hiring consultant from the campus branch of Santander, which worked out great because coincidentally Santander has been my bank since before they were even called that! This came in very handy when questions started to come my way about why I wanted to work for Santander, or what made the company special in my view. So before I move on, I can confirm that finding out as much as possible about the employer before your interview is important.

What companies look for

I honestly had no idea I would walk away from the interview having learned so much.  Not only did I get a frighteningly honest review of my CV, writing ‘computer skills’ does not belong in this century, but he also gave me a description of what most companies are looking for when recruiting. He suggested that companies look for:

  • applicants who have different types of experiences that they have accumulated during their time at university
  • a CV edited to suit the specific requirement of the job
  • concise answers to questions during the interview – stay interesting!
  • applicants who are confident but without appearing cocky

Example questions and body language

The questions he asked me during the interview included:

  • How have you grown during your time at university?
  • What were some of the challenges you faced during your time at university?
  • You wrote ‘…’ on you CV, do you think this is an important attribute?

The questions made me think about my own experiences and helped me understand how I could feel more confident.

Body language is important; hands on the table, have good eye contact and smile. I know we have all heard about these, but the mock interview was so beneficial to me because they were just vague guidelines about what to do but after the interview I scrutinised myself for these behaviours.

Use positive language

My final piece of advice is always use positive language. For example, you didn’t ‘find something challenging’you rose to the challengeof time management when working in a busy restaurant or meeting multiple course deadlines.

If you are currently applying for jobs and internships or will be doing so over the next few months, we have workshops on each stage of the recruitment process taking place this term. From CVs and covering letters to assessment centres and psychometric tests, we’ve got it covered!

There is also lots of advice on our website and you can book an appointment with one of our team to talk about any aspect of job interviews from questions you might get asked to selling your skills and experience.

Posted in Applying For JobsInterviews