Home > Careers, Employment, Uncategorized >  The difference between a job interview and an exam.

 The difference between a job interview and an exam.



As a university student you’ll be very aware that you have spent most of your life in education.  As you approach applying for placements or graduate jobs you’re faced with the unfamiliar world of job interviews. You’ll need to persuade some powerful people, who will sit in judgement on you, that you are the right person for the job and that they should offer you the opportunity.

It’s quite likely that the only previous similar experience you have had is taking exams. The two situations have a great deal in common. Preparation is all important, as is research and planning. You’ll need to work out what the employer wants, what their organisation and industry does and why you are a good fit for it
. Then you will need to communicate this clearly and confidently in a job interview (and possibly in other selection exercises too).


This is where the similarity breaks down. In an exam, you will need to persuade the examiners that you know your stuff and can present it correctly, in a way that gains you maximum marks. In an interview there is a more personal aspect you need to consider.

As a student or graduate applying for a job or placement, you aren’t really expected to know everything. What you must do is demonstrate an enthusiasm for learning and the role you’ve applied for. In an exam, this wouldn’t count but it impresses employers.

You also need to be quite outgoing and assertive. Employers are looking for people who will actively shape and lead their work, not just passively comply with instructions. The candidates who can demonstrate these personal qualities most successfully are the most likely to be offered the role.

For more information, attend one of our interview workshops in March – book via Career Hub or check our resources in the same place.


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