‘Interview Skills’ Activity and Worksheets

Ready to talk about interviews? Teach students the basics of interview skills and techniques with a selection of tasks, games and activities based on applications to college, sixth form, university, apprenticeships or employment with our ‘Interview Skills’ activity and worksheets.

Interviews are a tough skill to master at any age or stage in your career. Nobody likes the idea of ‘selling’ themselves and some people find it very different to talk about what they’re good at. However, interviewing is an important skill to learn so this set of short activities are ideal to teach students the basics. To begin with, we look at the different styles of interviews (competency, behavioural, experience-based, in-person, virtual, telephone etc.), what they are designed to test or assess and start to think about how or why decisions will be made. Students are then encouraged to think about potential interview questions and why these would be asked, before considering what a good answer should include. Finally, students have the opportunity to role play interviews as both interviewee and interviewer before giving feedback on their experience and perfecting the technique!

This activity is ideal for students preparing for an interview at college, sixth form or university, or considering applying for work experience, an apprenticeship, part-time work during their studies or full-time employment after leaving education. It’s aimed at Key Stage 3, 4 or 5 students, and could be followed up with our more in-depth activity on using the ‘STAR’ technique to answer interview questions.

How to use

This ‘Interview Skills’ activity pack contains a range of different worksheets for students to progress through during a short form time activity (10 mins) or longer careers lesson (45 to 60 mins). It can be started in the classroom and finished at home, or used for multiple sessions.

Key activities include:

Interview Questions: Providing a good response in an interview is a skill in its own right. There are lots of different styles of interviews and ways that employers, training providers or college enrolment teams can evaluate your performance. Ask students to consider the most common interview questions and make a list of what they are likely to be asked in an interview for a job, course or apprenticeship. Ask students to rate the questions listed according to how difficult they think they would be to answer. You can then discuss these questions, suggesting possible answers if you wish, and why they might be harder to respond to.

Interview Styles: Ask students to note how many different styles and formats of interview they know of using the diagram provided. Possible answers could include: competency, behavioural, cultural, assessment centre, telephone/video/virtual/in-person, individual/group interview, testing (practical tests such as Maths/English, job-specific tasks or exercises, or psychometric/personality profiling tests). Ask students if they know what different styles or formats of interview may include and when each might be beneficial depending on the purpose of the interview.

Interview Assessments: Ask students to consider the different factors that an employer, training provider or college assessor may consider when making a decision on the most successful candidate. Make a note of all the different ways that applicants could be assessed using the diagram provided. Possible answers could include: skills or competencies, qualifications or certificates, work experience, sector/industry knowledge, seniority, expertise, personality/cultural fit, matching aspirations, ability to travel/work desired shifts for example.

Using the next worksheet, encourage students to think about what else an employer or college assessor may need to consider when evaluating an application (such as a student’s individual needs). Use this opportunity to talk to about what shouldn’t be assessed or considered for legal and moral reasons (e.g. age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, civil partnership status, disability and other protected characteristics). Discuss what the assessment criteria may be for a part-time retail job compared to a plumbing apprenticeship. Ask students how they could find out what the assessment criteria may be prior to an interview (e.g. job advertisement, college prospectus, UCAS guidelines, employer’s website). What interview questions would you ask to assess these?

Interview Task: Be the Interviewer: Imagine you are an employer hiring a new apprentice (page 5) or interviewing applicants for a FE or HE course (page 8). Plan out what style of interview you will choose to follow. Think about the interview format, how may stages it will involve, any tests required, what you will be looking to assess and why this is important. In groups, think about the most important qualities for an apprentice or course applicant to demonstrate and how these might be showcased. Use the following page to create a brief description for your apprenticeship or course to include what you will be looking for (skills, qualifications, work experience, competencies etc.) Make a list of questions, rank them to show which are the most important and make notes on what a good answer may contain.

Interview Task: Role Play: Act out your interview using the questions you have prepared working in pairs or small groups. Use the worksheet to score the answers given and make notes on why you believe it was a good or bad answer. Note your final decision following the interview (invite for a further interview, discount/reject or offer the place/job) and make notes on the overall feedback you would give to the applicant. Discuss the feedback with your interviewee. How did they feel the interview went? Which questions were hardest to answer and why?