Interview Advice for the Irish Market
Interviews in Ireland can be in a variety of formats, for example a one-to-one meeting or panel format. Employers are increasingly carrying out phone interviews before deciding whether to invite applicants to face to face interviews. It is vital to make a good impression and clearly articulate examples of your skills and your motivation for the job at interview.
Top tips for international students: Interviews
- If English is not your first language, practice with native English speakers or attend English classes.
- Go through the job description and anticipate interview questions that you are likely to be asked and prepare examples to
illustrate your skills, knowledge of the organisation, role and industry.
- At the end of the interview you may be invited to ask some questions yourself, so try to have
a few prepared.
- Think about your key strengths as an international student e.g. cultural awareness or
language skills, ability to adapt to new environments and so on.
- Be prepared to explain details of your work entitlements e.g.the Third Level Graduate Scheme or work permit, if necessary.
- Know your rights - in Ireland an employer cannot discriminate on the basis of gender, marital or
family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community.
- Use the CAS interview resources online or book a
- Ask your Irish friends for feedback on cultural norms.
- Practice as often as you can. It's a good idea tolist your key strengths and experience, it's also important to practice talking about them in English so that you're more prepared on the day of the interview.
Before the interview
- Remember to dress in a professional manner.
- Confirm the date and time of the interview and also the name of the
person that you will be seeing.
- Punctuality is essential for interviews so be sure to arrive in plenty of time - at least ten minutes before the start of the interview.
- Remember, making an impression starts from the moment you arrive so always be polite
and friendly to everyone you meet in the building.
- Arrive at the company fully ready for your interview. If you need to change into a different pair of shoes etc, do this somewhere else, out of sight, before you arrive.
During the interview
- In Ireland it is customary to shake hands with the interviewer(s) who will invite you to sit
down. Good eye contact with the interviewer(s) will help to demonstrate confidence.
- If you have difficulties understanding a question then it is acceptable to ask the interviewer to rephrase or restate it. You can also paraphrase the question back to the interviewer to check you have understood what is being asked.
- If you are being interviewed by more than one person then try to direct your answer to the whole panel e.g. by looking at each person in turn.
- It is important to be positive and enthusiastic about your skills and experience.
- Employers don't just want to know if you are able to do the job. they want to feel that you are really interested in this particular job and in this particular company. Showing genuine interest in the role of offer and the company can have a big impact on your chances of securing work.
- Be respectful and polite at all times.
- Show an interest in the position and show confidence in your ability to do the role.
- Last but not least, remember to smile! If you have been called to interview, the employer has probably decided that on paper it looks like you can do the role. The interview is as much about finding out more about your background as it is about getting to know you as a person and deciding if you would fit well into the team.
After the interview
- Reflect on the interview and how it went. It's a good idea to write down questions you were asked after the interview and to write down answers that you gave. This can be useful when preparing for the next interview.
- If the company decides to offer you the role, they will likely contact you to ask your permission to contact your referees. Be sure to have asked permission from your referees before sharing their contact details.
- If you are offered the role, think about the company and the role and decide whether you would like to accept the offer.
- You should receive a written contract with all employment details shortly after the offer.
- If unsuccessful, remember that it is a competitive process so use this as an opportunity to prepare for the next time. You can ask the employer for feedback on your interview so that you can identify areas for improvement. Not all employers will give this feedback, but it is always worth asking.
- Please go to our Interviews section to find out more about Irish interview formats, taking into account the top tips above.