Colourful graphic of a person prepping for an interview.

(Mellow music)

Hello and welcome to Kick Start.

I’m Alice from Christians Against Poverty,

and in this session we’re going

to talk about interviews.

Let’s be honest, very few people enjoy interviews,

but for the employer they’re the best way

to decide if you’re the right person for a job.

Interviews are often face-to-face,

but are increasingly being conducted over the telephone

or by video call.

This session will help you

to feel better prepared

to answer the questions an employer might ask

you at an interview.

Let’s start by hearing from some employers about why

they like interviews so much.

The reason I like interviewing people is

because I look at these people as the future

of my business.

If we offer an interview to someone

we’re obviously showing

that we’re keen and willing to meet this person.

So they’ve gone through the first process

of us liking their CV,

so the next stage is coming to see us.

That is a huge, huge positive

because they want things to work out,

they’ve actually spotted somebody

who they think potentially can fill a gap in

their organisation and who will fit.

So it’s a huge confidence boost,

take it positively.

You may be very, very nervous,

but so is the person interviewing you often,

they’re desperate to find somebody to work

and they just want to find the right person.

I guess no matter how confident

you are, there’s always going to be a bit of nerves,

but I think if you’ve got an interview

you’re nearly there.

Be friendly when you walk through the door,

the first impressions really count.

So I would recommend strongly

that they dress smartly,

that they smile at the interview,

that they’ve done their research

and they’ve found out a little bit about the company.

And there’s nothing more refreshing

than someone who sits in front of you

and actually tells you what you do

because they’ve done the research on the website.

I don’t expect them to know everything about our business

but I think it’s just common courtesy

to have a look at us online

or find out a little bit about the company,

even pop in and have a coffee, find out, look at the staff,

look at what we do.

People are looking for that little bit extra

that somebody’s got, and it could just be

that little bit of research

that someone’s done on the organisation

and the enthusiasm that comes through

that makes the difference in getting the job.

Being invited for an interview is a great achievement,

but the feeling of excitement can quickly be overcome

as nerves may begin to set in.

This is perfectly natural

and you can feel nervous for many reasons.

You might feel under pressure,

especially if you really want the job

but you’re worried that you won’t get it.

It could be a situation that you’ve never experienced before

and so you don’t quite know what to expect.

Talking to new people might not be your strength,

and you’re worried that you won’t know what to say.

Or perhaps you’re unsure if the job

is the right one for you.

In all of these cases, the best thing

that you can do to overcome these feelings

and to boost your confidence is

to use the four Ps:

Prepare, Practise, Plan and Present.

First, you need to prepare.

Before your interview day arrives, do some research

to make sure that you understand the role

you’re applying for.

Think about your skills and positive qualities so

that they’re fresh in your memory.

If you’ve created a skills matrix,

review this and make sure

that you understand who the employer is

and what it is that they’re looking for.

You wouldn’t sit an exam without doing any revision,

and it’s the same in the interview.

You’ll feel more confident if you’re well prepared.

Remember, the interview is for you

to find out about the employer,

just as much as it is for them

to find out about you.

We recommend preparing three questions

that you could ask during the interview.

This helps to show the employer

that you’re genuinely interested.

Second, practise.

Ask a friend to help you by doing a mock interview with you,

either face-to-face, on the phone or by video call.

You wouldn’t expect to be able

to play an instrument without practising first,

and in the same way, the more that you practise,

the more your confidence will build.

It’s best to find somebody that will take this seriously

and be able to give you honest feedback.

If you can’t think of anybody,

ask your facilitator if they could help

or if they know somebody else who could.

Next, you need to plan.

Have you got everything ready for the day?

Do you know where the interview is?

How long will it take you to get there?

What are you going to wear?

Thinking practically about these things ahead

of time will give you less to worry about on the day.

If the interview is over the telephone

or if it’s on a video call,

where are you going to do the interview?

It’s best to choose somewhere that you feel comfortable

and where you won’t be easily distracted by children

or the TV.

It’s a good idea to make sure

that you have a good phone signal

or internet connection too.

Lastly, present.

Go for it, you’ve done all the hard work,

you’ve prepared what you want to say,

you’ve practised how to say it

and you’ve planned how to get there.

Now, you can be confident and be yourself.

Remember to smile and to make that great first impression.

(Mellow music)

So today is your big day.

You’ve discovered your strengths,

you’ve written a great CV and you applied for that job,

and you have been given an interview.

First of all, you need to know that’s absolutely fantastic,

well done.

Whatever happens today, you have done amazing.

In this step, we’re going to help

you with a whole interview process.

First of all, I’m gonna walk you through

that first stage.

So I knew I needed to make an effort with my appearance.

I’ve made sure I’m clean and smart,

hey, I even wore a tie.

I needed to arrive early and on time

so I checked the route yesterday

to make sure I knew how to get here.

And now I’m ready.

I’m here 15 minutes before that interview time.

So a deep breath, here we go,

let’s go and get ourselves a job.

When you go into reception, first impressions are really,

really important.

You need to know the name of the person you’re seeing,

the job you’re applying for,

and of course the time of your appointment.

I’m going to show you how you might do that

and how you can make a fantastic first impression. Let’s go.

Hello, good morning.

My name is John Kirkby,

I’m here for my interview at 12:30 with Mrs Brooke

for the maintenance supervisor.

Yes, Mr Kirkby, if you’d like to take a seat over there,

Mrs Brooke will be down to see you in 15 minutes.

So there you are, I’m in.

I’m at the right place at the right time

and I’m ready to go.

Hey, I’m still a little bit nervous,

but I know it’s going to be okay

because I have prepared.

I made sure that I read through my CV again yesterday

to make sure all of those examples

of my achievements were fresh in my mind.

I’ve also recapped on the research I did on this company

to show them that I really am interested in working here.

Now, there are some aspects

of your interview right from the very start

that you need to understand.

One is you need to have really good eye contact.

Look your interviewer in the eye when you speak to them.

This will help you to look and feel friendly and confident.

You need to ensure

that your body language makes a great impression.

Shake your interviewers hand when you meet them.

When you sit down, make sure that you sit upright,

you sit straight, don’t cross your arms.

It’s really important that you are enthusiastic

and genuinely ready to start work,

and they need to see that.

So I’m just gonna show you how

you might start your interview.

Hi Mr Kirkby, I’m Mrs Brooke.

Hi there, really, really nice to meet you,

I’m so looking forward to the interview.

Great, would you like to come with me?


Going down here.

Great, so how long have you worked here?

About eight years now.

Wow, enjoyed it?

It’s absolutely fantastic, love working here.

Yeah, it was interesting,

when I looked on the website, it was great

to see the social responsibility

that the company do

and the work that you guys do volunteering outside work.

It’s great, isn’t it?

Yeah, really good.

So we’re all ready to go, I’m in.

I’ve made a great first impression,

now to answer some questions.

The exercises that you’re going to do next are going

to get you ready for answering the questions

that you will face in your interview.

Well done, you’re already well on your way

to getting that job that you’ve always wanted.

Enjoy the interview stage.

The interview is a very important place

to make a good first impression.

And you can see how using the four Ps

to prepare, practise, plan, and present really helped John

to do that confidently.

I’m now going to put you in the shoes

of the employer and show you three video interviews

of people applying for the same job.

Who would you choose?

As you watch, write down anything

that you note in the three interviews, good or bad,

ready to discuss with your group.

Hello, Gareth, are you there?

Hello, Gareth, are you there?

Yeah, sorry, sorry, I’m late.

I’ve just come to get set.

Right, that’s great.

Sorry, sorry I’m late.

Okay, no problem.

I just want to start with a few questions, Gareth.

Can I ask firstly why you’d like to work for this company?

I just need a job, innit?

Job Centre have told me to come get a job

so that’s why.

Right, okay.

And this is very much a team-based role,

can I ask you if you’ve worked in a team before in any

of your previous roles or volunteering work?

Yeah, I’ve worked in teams before, yeah I’ve done that.

Right, okay.

And have you ever had

to deal with any angry customers in any of the roles

or places you’ve worked?

Yeah, I’ve done that, yeah,

just throw them out, don’t you?

Right, thank you, Gareth.

So in this role, in this team,

sometimes we can be very busy.

So I’d really like to know how you cope with pressure,

can you give me an example of when

you’ve been under pressure before?

No, not really.

I don’t think I’ve ever had pressure before,

but I’ve worked some busy places.

Right, thank you.

And finally, what do you think you would like

to be doing in five years’ time?

I’ve not really thought that far ahead,

just be in work and earning money, yeah.

Right, okay, that’s interesting.

Thank you for coming today, Gareth,

we’ll let you know in a couple of days’ time.

All right, see ya.


Hi Caty, thank you so much

for coming to this interview today.

I just want to start with a really easy question

and just say to you why would you like

to work for this company?

Yeah, great question,

can I just check, can you see and hear me okay?


Is that alright, am I loud enough, yeah?


Okay, yeah, great.

I’m sorry, I’ve even forgotten the question.

What was the question?

That’s fine, so why would you like

to come and work for this company?

Well, you see people say

that I’m quite good with people, I’m quite chatty,

bit of a chatterbox me.

And so they always say I’d be really good in sales,

really good with customers,

so I just thought it’d be really good fun.

I saw it, I thought that is the job for me.

Although you know what,

my old job didn’t really appreciate

that I could talk so much.

I also, not gonna lie,

saw that you’ve got an office in Louisiana

and I’ve always wanted to work in the States

and I thought, ooh! This could be a bit

of an opportunity.

But, you know, not jumping ahead of myself,

but just thought it’d be really interesting.

Well that is very interesting.

So obviously you’ve worked in offices before,

I’m just wondering if

you can tell me about when

you’ve worked in a team before.

Yeah, so recently in my last position

I was working on an event with some people

and there was Karen in the team, and Neil,

it was David, it was David, it was David in the events team,

I always get those two mixed up,

they’re very, very similar,

don’t tell them I said that though.

And we were working on this project

and we realised that we’d forgotten the cutlery

and it was this big dinner event thing we were doing.

Oh for goodness sake, so I sent Neil out

to the shop to go buy this cutlery stuff,

went over budget, but I thought it was a really good option,

like last minute.

Although our manager did say

we really shouldn’t have done that.

But I thought we actually worked really well

and we solved the problem.

I just don’t think they’re very forward-thinking,

I think they could’ve appreciated

our initiative a bit more.

But I think we worked well as a team,

I think we did.

Lovely, thank you.

And we’ll just have one quick final question,

have you ever had to deal with an angry customer at all?

Yes, however, I personally believe

that the customer’s always right.

So I think it’s really important

that you really listen to the customer,

that you value what they’re saying,

that you really take time.

I don’t do the talking, I let them do the speaking.

I just listen

and I just really hear what the problem is

that they’re going through.

So yeah, I have, but through my amazing listening skills

I feel like it’s quite easy to work with,

cause when you listen, they feel valued.

Thank you, Caty, that’s very helpful

and we’ll get back to you in a couple

of days with the result of the interview, thank you.

Great, thank you.

Hi Eilidh, thank you so much for coming

to this interview today.

I just want to ask you a few questions.

So the first thing would be,

why would you like to work for this company?

Yeah, I’m excited at the thought

of working for a company

that has grown and developed over the last 50 years.

And also particularly excited about the fact

that it’s international,

the roles are really varied

and I particularly love the idea

that it’s very customer service focused.

That’s fantastic. So the role is also very team-based,

so can you give me an example of when

you’ve worked well within a team?

Yeah, so I’m on a quiz team in my spare time

and I really enjoy it.

We’ve got quite a mix in that team,

so some really quiet individuals,

some slightly more outgoing individuals,

and I think the part

I really love about it is drawing out some

of the voices of the quieter people

to make sure that we hear what everyone’s got to say.

Yeah, that’s lovely, that’s lovely.

So have you ever had to deal with anyone that’s angry,

so an angry customer in any setting previously?

Yeah, unfortunately I have.

My previous role in a cafe,

we have had some disgruntled clients or customers,

because of just the food.

And I think something that I really focused on when

I was dealing with an angry customer was just

staying calm myself, keeping a calm tone of voice,

and just listening to them

to I guess understand why they were frustrated,

why they were angry.

And then thinking, Is this something I can deal with

or is this something I’m going to need to pass

to my manager to deal with?’

That’s really interesting,

and so I guess in that scenario

you could be very busy,

this role is a very busy role

so I’d really like to know how

you cope with pressure.

Yeah, I’ve learnt over the last few years

some really good time management techniques

for when I am under pressure.

I really benefit from making lists

to prioritise what I’m doing.

And also if I just don’t have the capacity myself,

seeking some support from others.

An example I’ve got of that is when

we were in the cafe and we’re particularly busy at weekends.

And just needed to make sure

that everyone was doing the right thing,

so someone was behind the tills,

someone was cleaning tables, someone was taking orders.

And we just had

to work really closely as a team in that time.

Great, that’s really interesting, Eilidh.

Thank you so much for your time today,

we’ll call you in a couple of days

to let you know if you’ve been successful, thank you.

(Mellow music)

Let’s be honest, very few people enjoy’ interviews and often the achievement of being invited for an interview is overshadowed when the nerves set in!

Like taking an exam, being prepared and understanding the information needed can help us feel more relaxed and confident. In this session, you’ll understand how to prepare and present yourself in the best way possible, so that when you’re next invited to an interview, the excitement outweighs the nerves.

This session aims to empower you to be confident in an interview setting, including face-to-face, telephone and video interviews.

By the end of this session, you should have a better understanding of what to do, and what not to do, during an interview, and how to present yourself in the best way possible. You should feel more able to plan coping strategies and better prepared to handle face-to-face, telephone, or video interviews, including understanding key questions that you’re likely to be asked.

Yes! We offer additional facilitator resources, such as guidance on activities and discussions, to allow you to run this as a group session for your church or community. Fill out the form and you’ll receive an email confirmation with instructions on how to access your free resources.

Looking for more free resources?