These look at past experience to model future behaviours. Questions will be asked about how you have dealt with certain scenarios in the past to determine how you might act if faced with similar situations in the future. Have a look at the general competency-based questions above for a guide to the sorts of questions you might be asked (things like, 'tell us about a time when... How did you handle it?'). As your answers will require you to describe your past actions you can prepare in a similar way to competency-based questions using the STAR technique outlined above.
Some employers may also give you specific scenarios to think about and ask you how you would respond in that situation, again looking for key competencies and actions. Questions might include scenarios such as:
- If you were faced with strong resistance to a change you were implementing, how might you move forward?
- If you realised you had inadvertently breached the company's data protection rules what would you do?
- If a key client told you they were contemplating employing an alternative service provider how would you respond?
- What would you do if you were working on an important project and all of the sudden the priorities were changed?
Useful information is on the TPP interview advice page about behavioural interviewing.
These interviews will take you chronologically through your life to date, and are likely to use your CV or completed application form as a basis. You may be expected to talk about anything that you have mentioned in your application, why you made certain decisions, what achievement has given you the greatest satisfaction or what skills you developed in particular positions.
Case study interviews
See our separate page on case study style interviews, used particularly for consulting firms.
This is where several candidates are present and will be asked questions in turn. A group discussion may be encouraged and you may be invited to put questions to the other candidates. For further advice on group activities or exercises, please see our webpage on Assessment Centres.
If you are interviewing for a creative role and you have enough experience to create a portfolio of your work, you may be asked to bring it with you to the interview, and to have an in-depth discussion about the pieces you have chosen to include.
These are several interviews in turn, with a different interviewer each time. Usually, each interviewer asks questions to test different sets of competencies. However, you may find yourself answering the same questions over and over. If this does happen, make sure you answer each one as fully and enthusiastically as the time before.
These are used by engineering, scientific, economic, IT, financial services and management consultancy firms. They will test that you have the technical knowledge needed for the job. Questions may focus on your final-year project and why you are approaching it as you are, or on real or hypothetical technical problems. You will be expected to know general themes/theory, and you should be prepared to admit if you do not know the answer. Employers can tell when you are bluffing, but will be just as interested in your thought process and logic.