Attending an interview

Interviews can take place in a variety of different formats ranging from:

  • Competency based interview – Focusing on skills and personal qualities
  • Technical interview – Evidencing technical knowledge usually in the form of a test/exercise
  • Face to Face interview – Discussion in person with the employer
  • Panel interview – A minimum of three interviewers asking a series of questions
  • Telephone or online – This is usually the first stage of an interview process
  • Assessment Day – Half or full day session consisting of a range of interview panels and tests/exercises to complete

The format of an interview will be made known to you in advance.


Preparing for an interview is very important. There are many different things you need to think about before attending an interview, such as what questions the interviewer may ask and preparing a response, ensuring you have all documents needed at interview, getting to the venue, planning what to wear and thinking about professional behaviors.

A few tips you may wish to consider in advance of your interview are:

  • Revisit your application form; review the job specification to recap on the main tasks and skills of the role
  • Research Wakefield Council and the service area you are applying for. This will help provide you with some insight into current headlines and key priorities
  • Prepare answers to possible questions by ensuring you have an example to substantiate your response. Don’t forget to sell yourself and think carefully about what strengths you can bring to the role
  • The interview also provides you with the opportunity to find out more about the Council, the service and the role. Think about questions you may want to ask the interviewer

Remember, the interview is as much about you gaining a feel for the organisation and the role as for the interviewer to find out more about what skills and attributes you can bring.

The Interview

  • When answering questions please take your time to think carefully about your answer, make sure you really understand it. If you are unclear you may ask the interviewer to rephrase the question
  • Think about how you can differentiate yourself from other candidates – Why should you be hired? What skills, experience, knowledge and creativity can you bring to the role?
  • Try to speak clearly and avoid giving ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. Examples of when you have used a particular skill should be provided to help firm up your answer
  • Make good use of the STAR technique – talk about the Situation, Task, what Action you took, and the Result
  • Be honest and open with your responses
  • Remain positive and enthusiastic throughout your interview
  • Do not lose your spirits even if you cannot answer a question or you feel you have done it badly. It could be a tough question for any candidate. It is more important to get your concentration back and focus on the next question
  • Towards the end of an interview, you are usually asked whether you have any questions. Take the opportunity to ask questions you have prepared beforehand to seek clarity and reassure yourself that you have all information needed to made a firm decision should you be successful at interview.

Contact us

Jobs and careers
0345 8 506 506