Interview Skills

Skills for Work employability videos

When applying for a new job, the interview process can be stressful, even for the most experienced of candidates. Job candidates might be nervous or unprepared, making it difficult for them to demonstrate their skills in full during the interview. 

It’s important for students to recognise the differences between good and bad interview skills in order to be prepared, develop confidence and leave a positive impression on potential employers.  

Watch the video below from the Open Mind Skills for Work series and download the accompanying teacher’s notes and worksheetto help adult English learners tackle the challenges of interviews. 

More employability skills resources

In this video, students are introduced to the topic of job interviews and develop their understanding of key interview skills. The aim of this video is to demonstrate ‘best practice’ of interview skills as students compare and contrast the differences between a good and bad interview. 

The accompanying teacher’s notes offer a range of exercises from Pre-intermediate to Advanced level of Open Mind (and Mind for American English learners).

In the first part of the video, we see job candidate Mateo fail to make a good impression at his interview. During her feedback commentary, the life coach points out that Mateo seems unprepared, hesitant and negative. We then see a replay of the interview in which Mateo is more successful. 

As in the tips below, the life coach highlights how Mateo has improved his interview skills through better preparation and a positive approach during the interview. 

Tips for improving your interview skills

Before the interview

  • Being prepared is essential to interview success
  • Anticipate what questions you might be asked by the interviewer
  • Research the company you are interviewing for thoroughly to ensure that you understand the job specification and what the company are looking for in potential candidates 
  • Make sure to highlight relevant experience to detail how your skills and experience match what the interviewer is looking for

During the interview

  • Be personable and make sure you are genuinely excited by the job – if you can’t convince yourself that the job is right for you, then you won’t convince the interviewer
  • Reinforce a positive approach through the use of  good interview language, with phrases such as:

    "one of my main strengths is ..."

    "I want to work for your company because ..."