Preparing For Future Pathways

Mock Interview Practice:


Interviews are something that everyone finds challenging, whether you are going for your first interview, or whether you have taken part in lots of interviews before. It is so important that you have the opportunity to practise for your first interview, so that you feel more confident and prepared to answer whatever questions you have to face. Practicing interviews will help you to build confidence, try the next few steps and you may just have that extra faith in yourself to grab that dream University course or part time job!

One thing to remember: an interview is a two-way process. It is a chance for you to “show-off”, to tell the employer why they need you to work in their organisation. It is also, though, the opportunity for an employer to see whether you “fit” into their organisation.

PART ONE: Preparation

As you will have applied for a job/further or higher education place, you will have already completed an application form. The employer will have used this application form to shortlist potential candidates before inviting to interview. They will already know a lot about you from your application form. Interviews are the opportunity for the employer or University to find out more about you and ask you about all of the fantastic thing you have mentioned in your application and personal statement.

Make sure that you have done your own research about the company or University. Looking over their website, attending open days and thinking about anything that you still would like to know.

Before continuing, download and complete this application form either on the computer or by hand.


PART TWO: Practice Questions

These are the types of questions that you might get asked at an interview and with ideas on how you might respond to those questions. Have a go at preparing some answers to these questions

What are your interests outside of school? Make sure you are able to talk for a minute or so about something you do in your spare time. What skills and experiences do you have?

The interviewer wants to know that you are a well-rounded person with a life outside school!

What are your strengths? Before you go to the interview, it is a good idea to make a list of the qualities that you think the employer or educational establishment would want from someone. Think of examples.

Your answers will tell the interviewer whether you have an understanding of the type of person needed to do the course/job

What are your weaknesses? This is about showing them you are reflective. What do you need to learn mor e about?  Another answer could be phrased positively – “sometimes over-enthusiastic” or “a bit of a perfectionist”

Reassure the interviewer that you will be able to do the course/job.

Can you tell me about a time when you had to work as part of a team? How do you relate to other people? Are you a leader? Can you motivate others? Before you go to the interview, think about a project that you have been involved with which required teamwork. Do you play for a football team? You may have examples from lessons or outside of school.

The question is designed to help the interviewer find out what sort of a person you are.

What is your greatest achievement? Something you are you most proud of? Did you find something difficult, but tried and over came it? It does not necessarily have to be connected with school or work.

Helping others. Charity work.  Revising for exams. Playing for a team are all examples.

Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced, and how you dealt with it. This may be a difficult subject or tip that you tried really hard with and finally understood. It may be a conflict while playing as part of a team outside of school. It is important to explain how you overcame it.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? The answer to this question needs to be one that will reassure the interviewer that you are keen to learn and to use the skills you acquire within the company or during your time at Sixth Form or College. Your answer should include points such as ‘I would hope to have gained experience/new skills/qualifications” … “I would be taking on more responsibility”. You need to make clear that you want progression within the company (if applying for the apprenticeship). Do not say that you will have moved on elsewhere unless you are applying for a Sixth Form or College place.

PART THREE: Practise answering the questions

It is all very well to prepare answers to the questions, rehearse them and know what you are going to say, but it is totally different when you are actually in the interview situation with an employer/someone sitting opposite you, that you’ve never met before, who is asking these questions individually.

We have asked some local employers to record questions so that you can imagine you are in the real interview situation in front of someone you have never met before.

Play the video and after the speaker asks a question, ‘pause’ the video and give your answer. Then press ‘play’ and continue. Try and do this on your own, away from anyone else and away from distractions.

Good luck!