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Overview | Interview skills | Birmingham City Council

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Overview

You've been offered an interview...what next? What can you expect and how should you prepare? What happens during the interview? What do you wear and what do you say? These pages aim to answer these and many more questions, helping you to be ready for the next stage in your job application.

Why have an interview?

Your application so far has been good enough to make the employer want to see you in person. A job interview is the chance for the employer to meet you, and to get to know you better. Up to this point the employer only knows what they have seen on your CV, application form and covering letter. Your enthusiasm and personality can best be evaluated in a face-to-face situation. The interviewer will be able to judge your responses to specific questions and scenarios.

Importantly, it is also your chance to get to know the employer. A job interview should be a two way conversation, not a one-way interrogation. It is your chance to ask your own questions about the job, the company and your working environment. Remember.... you are evaluating the employer just as much as they are evaluating you.

The kind of interview you are likely to have will vary depending upon the position and the company. An interview for a technical or problem solving position may involve performing some tasks, sometimes in competition against other people or as part of a team. Others may be the more traditional face-to-face interview with yourself and the employer, or more common is the panel interview.