Congratulations on your interview, you’ve done really well to get this far. The employer is obviously impressed with your written application and wants to know more about you!
The type of interview you have will depend on a number of factors: the interviewer’s interview style; individual company policy; the type of role you are applying for and level of responsibility; the number of candidates being interviewed etc. It is impossible to anticipate all the questions you could be asked, but in general you need to review the statements you made in your initial, written application, read the job description for the role thoroughly, and carry out extensive company research, in order to be able to answer questions about:
- your motivation;
- understanding of the role;
- skills, abilities and technical knowledge;
- previous relevant experiences and achievements, and;
- leisure activities.
The interview is also the time for you to find out more about the role, company, career development opportunities etc so that you will have all the information you need to make a decision about accepting any offer! So ensure you prepare some questions to ask the interviewer at the end remembering that an intelligent question could provide a memorable finish to your interview!
Dress code Always dress smartly, unless otherwise specified in the invitation letter, i.e. a suit (and tie for male candidates). Ensure that there are no stains, that your socks match, tights not laddered etc! Keep long hair tied back, especially if you have a tendency to play with it when nervous, and make-up and jewellery minimal. It’s not a fashion show and you want to be taken seriously!
Notes You may take a list of questions with you that you wish to ask, but no notes on answers you have prepared!
Although not an exhaustive list, we have created a ‘Question Matrix’ for you to download with some examples of the types of questions you may be asked on your transferable skills and experiences.
Think about your answers and what the aim of the question might be. You may find some questions very easy to answer, but others much more difficult.
Spend time preparing answers for questions etc that you would find difficult to respond to on the spur of the moment. As much as interviewers are testing how well you think on your feet, good preparation is the key to success – by being well-prepared you will feel more confident and at ease and able to deal with any nasty surprise questions!
Also: be prepared to talk about anything you have mentioned in your CV, covering letter or application form, even if they seem less relevant, or in the past, as well as technical questions relating to your field. For example, aerospace engineers may be asked about engineering problems; pilots may be asked to talk about flying situations; air transport candidates may have to talk about airline operation issues, etc.
Practice out loud using a mirror! The interview is all about how you provided your answers orally – how does your voice sound, do you speak too fast or monotonously, what non-verbal communication do you give? As well as practising with a friend or family member, watching yourself perform in front of a mirror helps you identify your mannerisms, facial expressions etc. and can be the best way to get an idea of what to watch out for!
Practice sessions with the RAeS
If you are a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, as part of your Careers Centre benefits, you can have free interview practice sessions with a careers advisor and discuss your answers in more detail. The service is also available to non-members at a small charge. Your university careers service, or local Job Centre or Connexions office, may also offer a similar service.
Post-interview: your experience
In order to improve on every performance, and to anticipate future questions, note down some of the unexpected, unusual or more difficult questions you get asked. Go over your answer, whether it seemed appropriate or what you might say if asked the same question again.
Got an interview story you would like to share - a killer interview question or experience that you had with an aerospace or aviation company? If you would like to include your experience here, anonymously or otherwise, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include some of your stories here which might help other people preparing for interview!
COMING SOON - Downloadable interview question matrix