Prioritising which companies to apply to, much better to send 10 amazing applications than 30 okay ones, how to create an amazing and tailored application etc.

Interview Preparation: Interview Tips For First-Timers

London School of Emerging Technology > LSET Workshops > Career In IT Series Series > Interview Preparation: Interview Tips For First-Timers

Workshop Information

Preparing for a job interview can be nerve-wracking; you want to make a good impression and stand out from the other applicants. An interview is your chance to sell the hiring manager on why you’re the perfect candidate for the job, and it can go either way depending on how well you are prepared. Interviewers like to ask behavioural questions because they help them get a better understanding of what candidates are capable of in real-world scenarios. A behavioural interview essentially tests how a candidate has reacted in past experiences rather than what they might do if faced with a similar situation in the future.

Interview Preparation: Interview Tips For First-Timers

Workshop Has Ended

What is a behavioural interview?

A behavioural interview is a hiring method where an employer asks you specific questions related to past experiences, challenges you’ve overcome, or goals you’ve set to determine how you will react in certain situations on the job. The goal of asking behavioural questions is to find out more about a job candidate’s personality, work style, and ability to get things done by understanding how the person has acted in the past in similar situations. Behavioural interview questions can be challenging because they’re open ended. This means there isn’t a concrete “right answer” like there would be on a standardised test. There isn’t a magic formula for answering these questions. Instead, you’ll want to show the interviewer that you have the skills and abilities to succeed in the job by sharing examples of how you’ve used these skills in the past. Behavioural interview questions can be broken down into categories. For example, an interviewer might ask questions about your work history, education, or communication skills. These are broad categories, though, and the specific questions will vary depending on the interviewer.

Why are behavioural interviews important?

Behavioural interviews are important because they allow employers to get a better idea of how you’ve acted in the past. The hiring manager doesn’t want to know what you’re going to do in the future; they want to know how you’ve reacted in previous situations so they can predict your behaviour in their organisation. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to worry about coming up with a “perfect” answer to a situational question. Instead, you can focus on providing examples from your past that showcase your skills and abilities. This can help you relax and be more confident when answering these types of questions.

How to prepare for a behavioural interview

There are a few different steps you can take to prepare for a behavioural interview. First, make a list of challenges you’ve overcome in your life. This could be something from your past, like overcoming a difficult childhood or a health issue, or it could be something from your current lifestyle, like dealing with a busy schedule or raising children. The goal is to show the interviewer that you have the ability to overcome challenges and be successful in spite of them. Next, make a list of your skill sets and qualities. What are some examples of your work history? What are strengths you possess? What are some examples of your education? Are there any certifications or licenses you’re proud of? What are your communication skills? When you have these lists ready, practice answering the behavioural interview questions with a friend or family member. By going over the types of questions you might be asked, you can get a better idea of how you want to respond to them. This can also help you practice your communication skills, which can be helpful during an interview.

Tips for answering behavioural questions

  • When answering a behavioural question, start by framing the situation. This can help you collect your thoughts and keep yourself focused. For example, if you’re asked how you would handle a situation where an employee wasn’t meeting their goals, first describe the situation and then explain how you would react.
  • Take some time to think through your answer prior to speaking. This doesn’t mean you have to spend an excessive amount of time on one question. Instead, take a few moments to collect your thoughts and make sure you have a full and comprehensive answer. You don’t want to rush through your response just to get it out.
  • Try to provide specific examples when answering questions. This will help the interviewer better understand how you’ve applied your skills and abilities in the past, which can help you seem more credible and prepared.
  • Remember that the interviewer isn’t trying to trick you or catch you off guard. They truly want to know how you’ve responded to previous situations, so keep that in mind as you’re answering.


A behavioural interview can be challenging because it requires you to think about situations you’ve faced in your past and apply them to the job you’re applying for. The good news is that interviewers want to know how you’ve responded to challenges in the past. Using these questions as an opportunity to share your skills and abilities can help you come across as confident and capable. That said, behavioural interviews can be stressful and challenging. To gain an edge over other candidates, you need to perform thorough research and practice answering common behavioural questions. With the right preparation, you can ensure that you’re presenting yourself as the best candidate for the job.