Whether it is for university or a new job, we are all going to be faced with interviews at some point in our lives. They are an integral part of the application process as they bring the character in a CV or UCAS application to life. On Tuesday 22nd of October, we attended a preparation session hosted by BAI Communications which gave us some tips on how to present ourselves in the best way possible in an interview setting.

One of the tasks that we were challenged with was giving a one-minute presentation to everyone at the event on why we want to study our chosen degree subject. We were also given the opportunity to be recorded. Although the thought of doing this was daunting and I hated watching it back, I am glad we were given the chance to do this because it made us aware of some of our bad habits such as speaking too quietly or too fast, fidgeting with our clothing and not keeping eye contact. We then received individual feedback on our performance. The compliments and the constructive criticism we received helped us to understand our strengths and our weaknesses. After this exercise, we had the chance to act on this feedback in short mock interviews based on our personal statements with the employees. I had mine with Abi, BAI’s people director, who pointed out how I constantly start my responses with ‘I think’. This suggested uncertainty and she encouraged me to be more confident in what I was saying and recognise the value of my opinions. 

This event provided us with a safe space to discuss our fears when it comes to interviews. As well as to make mistakes before we get to the real thing. The abundance of feedback we received was extremely helpful and it means that in a real interview we will be more aware/conscious of our bad habits and make an extra effort to avoid them. During the event, we discussed the importance of being in the right mindset and believing in ourselves.

Sometimes people see things in us that we don’t see in ourselves and I can confidently say the encouragement helped me to release my own potential. Proper interview preparation is something that a lot of people cannot access so we recognise how lucky we are to have had this opportunity. We are very grateful for the help and support we received and would like to thank BAI Communications for hosting us and Steve Barney, Roberta de Lima and Abi Todd for giving up their time to deliver this session.

This event has given us the correct skills so I am sure that when we head to Oxford and Cambridge in December we will be able to ace that interview!

by Emily Emiru – UG18