Interviews for computing/IT jobs including a practice interview.
Try a practice interview for computing jobs, answering typical questions and also getting tips on how you should answer. There are also other questions students have been asked at computing interviews.
- Practice computing interview
- Important points
- If you have a "hole" in your CV ....
- Questions Kent students have been asked at computing interviews
- Questions YOU can ask at IT interviews
- Tests and group exercises given
- Further help
- Programming aptitude tests (separate page)
- Computing Careers Page (separate page)
- Electronics & Computer Systems Engineering Careers Page (separate page)
SYSTEMS ANALYSTS must be able to communicate with the user of their system, and be able to listen to them to find out their requirements. They must be able to investigate and solve problems. They need to be able to present their solutions to their clients and persuade them that their solution is the best one. They usually work in a team, so they need to be able to cooperate with programmers and other team members. Employers will be looking to see how you can talk about and demonstrate these skills at your interview. The sort of evidence you could offer includes:
- Listening: working on the university helpdesk.
- Persuading: staff-student liaison committee representative.
- Cooperating: fund-raising for rag.
- Solving problems: debugging a program.
- Presenting: the results of a group project.
Before you arrive ...
This interview will concentrate mainly on the IT specific interview questions you may be asked so it is similar to a technical interview. Computer aptitude tests are used by most large companies, so make sure you gain familiarity with these. First interviews for computing jobs may be with a personnel manager who may not know much about IT, and second interviews may be technical e.g. 'write an SQL query'. This is why is may be sensible to send your CV to the IT dept. as well as to Personnel. Also see our Computing Careers Page and Interview Reports
There follow some of the questions that might be specifically asked of students at interviews for computing jobs. General interview questions are not asked here, so you might also like to try the general and multiple choice interviews as well for standard interview questions that can be thrown at any candidate. Click on "First Question" to begin. Think carefully about how you would answer, then click on "Show Answer Tips" to get an idea of how you should be answering.
Applications for IT Jobs
- Companies care more about their business than about computers. You aren't employed because you like computers, you're employed because you can make the company more profitable. If an interview is focused only on technology try discussing the business needs of the company - you'll make a good impression.
- There is an increased demand for interpersonal and business skills such as negotiating skills, as companies insist that IT professionals develop a business awareness.
- Smaller companies have less room to grow and more informal career paths, but compensate by offering a greater share in the success of the company and more creative diversity in your work. A small company's camaraderie, team spirit and openness to individual initiative may be offset by a larger company's opportunities for advancement and broad choice of projects.
- A job advert listing specific machines, languages, and operating systems may offer little opportunity for career advancement: you may be just coding algorithms.
- First interviews may be with a personnel manager who may not know much about IT and second interviews technical - "write an SQL query". This is why is may be sensible to send your CV to the IT dept. as well as Personnel.
- If they ask you a technical question to which you don't know the answer just say you don't know and go on to say how you would find out or talk about the general area the question addresses.
Very often you are hired as much for your problem solving skill as for your knowledge of a particular language. You can sometimes get by these questions by emphasising your ability to learn: once you know one or two programming languages you can be confident that, given a decent manual, access to a compiler, and a little time, you can learn a new language in a few weeks. e.g.
- "I have a limited knowledge of C but I have a thorough knowledge of Java. There are relatively few new concepts and I'm confident I can learn to write well-structured and efficient C in a short time."
- "It's true I haven't learned PL/1, but I've learned two other procedural languages - PASCAL and Java - which share the same data types and control structures as PL/1. More valuable to you and harder to acquire are my problem solving skills, which I can apply in any language."
If you have been to an interview or assessment centre recently please fill in our interview report form to help other students.
- What course do you study and where? (Cable & Wireless)
- Why did you choose your course. (Thomson Reuters, Morgan Stanley)
- What aspects of the course have you enjoyed most?
- What was your most enjoyable module? (ATS)
- What is the module you found hardest? (ATS)
- Describe where you have used your skills outside of your course. (ATS)
- What aspects of computing are you most interested in?
- Why did you choose Kent. (Thomson Reuters, Morgan Stanley)
What location would you prefer to work at? (Cable & Wireless)
- What do you like doing outside your studies and work? (Cable & Wireless)
- What experience do you have? (Flambeau Europlast)
- Why do I think you should be considered for the job. (Thomson Reuters)
- Why do you think you should be considered for the assessment centre (this was the last question and was hard to not repeat what I had already said about being considered for the job) (Thomson Reuters)
- How would friends describe your personality? (Accenture)
- What do you want to be doing in 5 years time? (Cisco)
- What are your main strengths and weaknesses? (XKO)
Questions on course projects
- Talk about your projects (Google)
- Why did you choose your project? /how did you undertake it? /what did you enjoy about it? Justify the results.
- How did you prepare your project? What did you learn from it? What would you do differently next time?
- How would your project relate to a team-based job?
- Tell me of a technical project at university you have worked on and what role you had within the group. (Logica)
- What have you learnt during the project? (Logica)
- Describe the most enjoyable project you worked on. (ATS)
- What you learnt from your project? (I-Flex)
- Give an example of a project that you worked on and what you did to ensure it was finished on time. (J.P. Morgan)
- Describe your role in a technical project? What technical skills did you develop? (Logica)
Competency questions. See our page on How to Answer Competency-based Questions
- Tell me about some thing that motivates you and what have you done as a consequence. (GSK)
- Give an example of when you worked in a team successfully. (Thomson Reuters)
- Give an example of a time you worked in a team, and what role did you play(HP)
- Give an example of a time when you worked with others to achieve a goal. (Vodafone)
- Tell me about a time when you worked in a group to achieve a goal, and what role you played. (Cable & Wireless)
- When have you set yourself a goal and what challenges did you face? (Logica)
- Tell me about a time you have had to lead a team (ATS)
- Describe when you had to motivate others? (HP)
- Give an example of when you used a novel approach or novel solution to a problem. They wanted work related. (Thomson Reuters)
- Describe a success you have had in applying an innovative solution to a complex problem. What would you differently in future? (GSK)
- Describe a project where you had to explain new ideas or concepts to your peers? (HP)
- Describe a time when you took the initiative to make a change in order to ensure that the task was successfully completed. What you would differently in future? (GSK)
- Give an example of a time when you did something different? (To put that into context, my example was organising a holiday for myself and 12 friends) (Vodafone)
- Give two examples of your analytical skills/problem solving skills/leadership skills (systems analysis - Proctor and Gamble)
- Tell me about a time when you persuaded a group of people to achieve a certain task. (Cable & Wireless)
- Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone to change their mind and how did you achieve this? (SAS)
- Give an example of a time you gave good service to a customer. (HP)
- Tell me about a time when you went out of your way for a customer. (Cable & Wireless)
- Tell me about a time when you had a lot of work to do (deadlines or just generally very busy). (Cable & Wireless)
- How did you manage your time or go about completing everything? (Cable & Wireless)
- Describe a situation where you used resources efficiently? (HP)
- Tell me about a time when your schedule was interrupted by an unforeseen circumstance, even if it was minor. (Cable & Wireless)
- Give an example of when you drove to succeed and had to make sacrifices. (Thomson Reuters)
- Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. How did you learn from it? (Vodafone)
- You’re your greatest failure (Ford)
- Name a time where, in hindsight, you made a bad decision. (ATS)
- Describe a time when you had to work with some one whom you find it difficult to work with, and how did you build the relationship? (GSK)
- Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer? (HP)
- Describe a time when you have exceeded a customers expectations (Logica)
- Name a hard decision you had to make. (ATS)
- Tell me about a time you have coped with pressure (ATS)
- Have you made any presentations to an audience? (Cisco)
- What does flexibility mean to you? (Accenture)
- Tell us why you are flexible (Ford)
- Name a time you opposed authority and the outcome (Ford)
- Are you concerned about the environment and willing to change your (bad) habits? (Ford)
- Competency Based Interview with the following client facing topics: planning, teamwork, challenging goal, dealing with a difficult team member, failure, conflicting problem/situation, going the extra mile for a customer/colleague (Logica)
- Competency based interview around 45 min. (Atos Origin)
- Competency questions. Looking for behaviours that fit with IBM. Looking for things like teamwork, adaptability, effective communication, problem solving, commitment. Make sure you give examples on your application form. Can use evidence from uni, work experience, volunteering etc. Grammar and spelling is checked carefully. (IBM)
Commercial Awareness Questions. See our page on How to answer Commercial Awareness Questions
- Why our company? (HP, ATS, GSK, Cisco, Logica, Morga Stanley)
- What do you know about HP's business and products?
- What do you know about HP and our history? (HP)
- Why are customers important to an organization? (HP)
- Can you explain what the term 'Passion for Customer' means? (HP)
- Why did you apply for the scheme, why do you like it? (Cable & Wireless)
- What do you know about the company? (Cable & Wireless)
- What areas of our infrastructure would you focus on improving? (Flambeau Europlast)
- What do you think is an exciting development in IT and why? (Logica)
- Tell me what you know about Logica (Logica)
- Who are our competitors? (Logica, ATS, Accenture, Cisco)
- Who are HP's Business competitors and why? (HP)
- What sets us apart from our competitors? (Logica)
- What role will you play in an IT environment?
- What do you know about the investment banking industry. (Morgan Stanley)
- Would you prefer a business or technical route, and why? (Logica)
- What do you think is the role of IT in our bank?
- What do you know about Thomson Reuters. (Thomson Reuters)
- Why are you interested in applying for our program. (Thomson Reuters)
- What challenges do GSK face in IT? (GSK)
- What other careers are you looking at? (ATS)
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of working around the country? (ATS)
- Have you travelled before in a role? (Accenture)
- List 2 ways Accenture would help a business. (Accenture)
- What does a consultant do? (Accenture)
- Can you name some of Accenture's clients? (Accenture)
- What companies do HP work with? (HP)
- Who is Cisco's Chief Executive Officer? (Cisco)
- What are the benefits of networking? (Cisco)
- What is happening in networking at the moment? (Cisco)
- What are our target markets? (Cisco)
- In what technological directions do you think Cisco is heading?
- What technologies interest you? (Cisco)
- What are the strengths/weaknesses of Ford? (Ford)
- What threats are there in the future? (Ford)
- What are Ford’s opportunities in Japan/US/Europe? (Ford)
Hypothetical questions. See our section on this
- If you had to send a Beta of some software to a company, but they couldn't get it to run, what would you do?
- If you needed to explain the solution to a problem how would you go about it? e.g. a technical problem with a computer explained to a end user.
- How would you document your programs/code?
- How would you go about solving a problem e.g. a bug in a program?
- Can you explain how to play the game of draughts? (IBM)
Make sure you know everything you have been taught - they try and predict what you have learned from module descriptions and quiz you on them. For the HR interview just know your CV inside out. The technical interviewers will keep asking you harder and harder questions so be prepared to say "I don't know" (they are trying to find the limits of your knowledge!) and don't be put off by their stares or comments to each other if it takes a while to answer a question.
Do research into software methodologies and software testing. Research Agile methodology in particular and mention it.
- Choose a particular software methodology and talk about it in depth. (Accenture Technology Solutions)
- What technical experience do you have. Academical and work related. (Thomson Reuters)
- About deliverables needed in a project and testing: unit testing, system testing etc. (Accenture Technology Solutions)
- Very challenging and probing technical questions about the skills I added on my application form: C++, Java, Windows and Linux questions but also questions on data structures (linked lists, array lists etc) and sorting algorithms. (Morgan Stanley).
- They gave me random on the spot maths questions that you had to think 'outside of the box' to solve. (Morgan Stanley)
- Asked to design the class structure for a given system. Asked to draw UML of the class design. Asked about encapsulation / polymorphism / inheritance. Asked about Windows / Unix knowledge. (Morgan Stanley)
- Asked about databases, data structures, operating systems. (Morgan Stanley)
- Have you learned any computer languages from manuals?
- Wireless internet standards: advantages of WAP over WEP
- About firewalls and proxy servers (Phillips Research)
- Differences between C++ and Java
- Draw a UML diagram for a particular computer system
- UML diagram for animal/cat/dog - explain
- What is on-chip cache?": Level 0, Level 1, Level 2;
- How many bytes is 2^20?
- How do UNIX file permissions work?
- Where are UNIX system configuration files kept?": /etc, /usr, /opt;
- Lots of questions about Java, servers.
- Technical questions on computer science (not too difficult!) - Logica, Reuters.
- What is a class, an object, and interface (Google)
- Write a function to compute fibonacci (on googledoc shared with interviewer - Google)
- Write a function to reverse a string (Google)
- Write a function boolean IsPelindrom(int n) which takes and integer and returns true if the bit representation of the integer is a palindrome (Google)
- What experience do you have of SQLs, RDBMSs, networks?
- Are you familiar with the networking OSI model? (Cisco)
- What's the difference between ADO and ODBC? (I-Flex)
- Write a function to solve the puzzle which was given to me in any language? (I-Flex)
- Write C programs for Transport layer algorithms? (I-Flex)
- What is the difference between C and C++? (I-Flex)
- Questions on C , Unix, C++ , Database and SQA activities. (I-Flex)
- How many squares are there in 5*5 matrix (I-Flex)
- Test involving Unix, computer hardware, network topologies, programming examples in C and SQL and some practical database exercises. Most questions were short and to the point. Typical questions involved were "can you tell me the value of x at point y in the program?". (Oxford University IT job)
- What kind of courses do you give programmers in-house/at outside training centres?
- What kind of machine does your system run on?
- What will I actually be responsible for on this system?
- What does the person who used to do this job do now?
- If this is a development project, how much coding has already taken place?
- How will my performance be appraised?
- Is there a promotion route for technical staff as well as management staff?
Consultancies and software houses
- Will I have a PC of my own?
- How soon will I be put on a real project?
- What kind of work will I start with - data input, programming, testing, documentation?
- Is most of the work done on client premises or in your offices?
- Will I be expected to work overtime and will I be paid extra?
- What is your attitude towards membership of the BCS?
- Will I continue to receive training once experienced?
IT Equipment manufacturer
- Could I eventually move into production, customer services, sales and marketing or training?
- Do people move between different sites/subsidiaries? Is this imposed or voluntary?
- Is there a management information services director? If not which senior person is responsible for the department?
- How is the department structured?
- What resources does the company put into IT?
- What equipment, programming languages would I be using?
Tests given to candidates. See our practice aptitude tests
- Abstract test, finding patterns etc. Syntax checking test. Two types of code, X and Y, each has 4 rules. Check 40 lines of code, each is of a type, and see if they conform to their particular set of rules. When doing the syntax checking, it can be more productive to answer the questions NOT in the order as they appear, but looking for the type X questions and then answering the type Y questions. This way you don't have to keep switching the rules in your head. I've done the same test in both ways and found the second way was more productive. (AXA)
- Inductive Reasoning - Standard SHL inductive reasoning test (Logica)
- Numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning (math, comprehension, patterns). Numerical: look up values from graphs/tables, perform basic arithmetic. Verbal: given a passage, declare the following statements true, false, or unknown-needs more information. The 3 tests lasted ~30mins each, and were done back to back with a 3min break in between each one. it's nearly impossible to finish the entire test each time. focus on answering accurately, as wrong answers are likely to be penalised. (British Airways)
- Multiple choice test on networked systems. 40 minutes. What is a router? What is ATM? What is X25? (Cisco)
- There were three tests, all from SHL which you can practise on their website. A numerical ability test, an ability test and a verbal ability test. The numerical ability test had 20 questions (and I think 20 minutes to answer them) and included working out percentages using graphs/tables etc, The ability test had 45 questions with 20 minutes to answer them and consisted of a column of shapes, with an icon next to each shape. There was a "master key" at the back of the booklet which each of the icons corresponded to, such as: reverse the shape, swap this shape with the previous shape, ignore the next command, reverse the column etc. You had to then choose the correct column of shapes after the commands had been carried out on the shapes. The verbal ability test consisted of 30ish questions with 18 minutes to answer them. You are given a paragraph of information and then some statements which you have to decide are true, not true, or cannot say, based on the information in the passage. (HP Enterprise)
- I was tested on verbal understanding (which also tests intelligence) by 40 min. test of type “True/False/Cannot say”. There was also a numerical test with x questions in x minutes (Ford)
- Vector Test – analysing tables, pie charts etc. 25 mins. 28 questions. Verbal Test – Paragraphs given, about 4 questions on each involving statements which we had to say true/false/cannot say. 25 mins. 40 questions. Diagrammatic Test – Had to look at functions performed by symbols and say what they did. 40 questions. 35 minutes. Practise basic maths – long division, percentages etc. Not allowed a calculator. (J.P. Morgan)
- There were four tests plus a personality questionnaire. The tests varied in length from 15-40 mins.
We were given a grid of various numbers, letters and symbols and had to follow certain instructions to arrive at the answer e.g. – starting with the character in column four, row two, trace the outline of the grid in an anti-clockwise direction. Which letter is the first to appear more than three times? WARNING! It got a lot harder and trickier!
We were given a sequence of numbers or letters and had to find the next character in the sequence.
Maths test. No calculators were allowed. We had to calculate percentages, ratios and fractions so you might want to brush up on your numeracy beforehand!
Technological potential. The scenario was that we were in charge of lighting a theatre. We were given different conditions as to what type of problem the fault in the lighting plan could cause and who this problem would affect e.g. lighting technician, stage manager or director. There was only ever one problem with the lighting plan and we had to work out: a) what type of problem would be caused? and, b) who would this problem affect? Yet again, it got harder as different conditions were added to the original ones and you had to take more and more information into consideration. Examples of conditions: 1. Certain lights need to always be turned on first; 2. Some lights need to be warmed up in the breaks; 3. Different lights create different effects.
The tests were daunting for me as I was the only one in my session who was not studying for a technical or numerical degree. In no way did I think I would get through! Perhaps practise some logical aptitude tests beforehand. The Careers Centre has examples. (IBM)
- Do online IPAT test – tests sequencing, maths and analytical skills. They want problem solving and analytical skills whatever role you go for. (IBM)
- Diagramatic Reasoning Test - 35min. Role Play 1 - 1 (+assessor) - Justifying Decisions - 5min prep, 10mins. Problem Solving Exercise 1 - 1 (+assessor) - Fact Finding 35min (Morgan Stanley)
- Online tests: numerical skills and verbal reasoning (Selex Sensors)
- Numerical and Verbal SHL tests, each about 20 minutes (Sky)
Group exercises. See our page on assessment centre exercises
- Each attendee had to introduce themselves and tell everyone an interesting fact about them that would make them stand out. (Logica)
- Group exercise. We were a small start up company who were to create and organise an event for the launch of the 2012 Olympics. There are certain requirements such as budget and timescales but the rest is up to you to come up with something appropriate. 50 min to prepare and then 10 min to present it as a group. (Atos Origin)
- Group exercise. A discussion on who we would save given that X amount of people were in a cave, and the cave entrance had collapsed, so chances were that some people were going to die. We had to decide on the order of rescue. (Cable & Wireless)
- Group exercise. Each member was given a pack containing a requirement specification, timeframe, budget, a possible solution by producing it in house, and a different solution from external vendors. We had to put across the pros and cons from our vendors, and then decide which vendor would be best, or if it would be best in house. after selecting a vendor and informing them we were done (ahead of time), they gave us a 'last minute email just arrived' stating that the vendor we'd selected had to increase the price by 20%, and we had to reevaluate our solution, and possibly change it, after factoring in the price increase. (British Airways)
- Group exercise to decide on an appropriate system to implement for the company. Were given requirements and no easy answer. Making a decision helps as you'll need to justify in the role play later. Also fact finding excercise: I was a consultant advising the company on where to move premises. Keep asking questions, and questions on the answers you are given, but relax and do it your way! (Morgan Stanley)
- Hour long group exercise. 6 people per group, and we were given some information about a beer company and their falling sales over the last few years. Research had been done to introduce two new beers and we had to decide which beer we wanted to launch and propose a marketing strategy, whether we wanted to change pricing, product packaging etc. (HP Enterprise)
- Group exercise. Given 4 plastic cups, 4 plates, masking tape and 8 sheets of very large paper, construct a bridge capable of holding a stapler (the stapler isn't seen until you've finished) (Cable & Wireless)
- A group of 3 of us had to solve a problem relating to James Bond. There were objectives that had to be met on a limited time scale and we had to plan according to the objectives. Key is to understand that if you release resources early they can then be used to help. (HP)
- We were given a brief (5 pages) about a company in trouble. The idea is to quickly gather the relevant information. We were asked to identify three main problems and to choose the most important one to tackle first. One problem here, it seems, is to relate to Accenture. Where and how can Accenture help quickly to turn the troubled company around? Have good reasons to back up your choice. Subsequently, as a group of three, we were asked to pick six issues from the case study, take the most important three and prepare a brief for the project manager. I think, it helps to know some case studies from the web to identify the core competencies of Accenture and to relate to them. (Accenture)
- Written Test - Had to write a report based on the information given. Each member of the group had 4 CVs and a project brief. Each member of the group had to present each member of their team (the people on the CVs) and had 2 minutes. We then had 20 minutes to decide who to employ to meet the project brief and budget. The outcome was irrelevant it was just to observe how you work in a team. (Logica)
- Case study. Read up on some information, the situation being a choice of two possible factory buildings, and having to make a decision as to which one you would choose. They give you info such as budget and details about each building. Don't think there is a right or wrong answer, just have to justify what you value to be the most important criteria. (AXA)
- British Airways case study, I was asked to discuss what Accenture could offer them. (Accenture)
- I was given a case study. Nothing about IT though! It was a medium sized family run business with 30 shops who had profit problems: how would I turn it around? What services could Accenture sell to the business? Could the business be saved? (Accenture)
- Fact finding exercise. One on one and you were given a little bit of information about a dissatisfied hotel customer and then you have 15 minutes to ask specific questions to gather information and then decide how you would resolve the situation.
- There were two group exercises and we were observed by 3 assessors. A profit-making exercise building a Lego tower. How many bricks you used and how tall the tower was etc. determined how much profit you made. A communication exercise. Each team member had different pieces of information and we had to solve the same problem altogether. (IBM)
- Assessment centre: you do a confirmatory IPAT test to check it wasn’t your friend doing it the first time round! 2 group exercises – one problem solving and one discussion based. The group exercises are the most difficult ones to pass. 10 min presentation and 5 mins for questions. The presentation covers things like talking about your teamwork and adaptability skills and talking about an aspect of IBM. Also talking about why you want to work for IBM, what IBM can do for you and what you can do for IBM. They want to see that you have passion for the business. (IBM)
- Intray exercise where we had to sort through a load of e-mails and memos and put them into order of priority. (Logica)
Presentations, See our page on these
- Presentation. Since we were only six candidates we were all put together. The task was to prepare a TV show. We were given a brief (1 page) and 5 minutes to prepare individually, then 15 minutes to identify four main issues and to prepare a presentation. The presentation was supposed to last 3 minutes and every group member had to present something - e.g. 30 seconds each. We had some initial trouble of understanding the task and we failed the group exercise because only five of us were talking within the 3 minutes. This brings me to an important issue: time management. Have a watch and use it! Don't forget to remember when an exercise started and how long you've got to prepare it. Also, decide on a time keeper for the group tasks. (Accenture)
- Presentation. 20 min to prepare a 5 min presentation on a group project you have worked on at some point, preferably where you had a choice of topic. (Atos Origin)
- Had to prepare a 10 minute presentation based on a problem that I had solved, explaining: - What the problem was - How I solved it - What the outcome was. We was also given 20 minutes on the day to write an executive summary of the presentation on one side of A4(HP)
- 10 min presentation, two topics to choose from: "why would you be a good choice for our grad scheme/" and "describe an interesting hobby/pastime". An hour to prepare for it (maybe less, can't remember) and after the presentation there are questions and a bit more of an interview (different assessors to previous exercises) (Cable & Wireless)
- Had to prepare a 15 minute presentation in advance, the topic being "how to create business value through IT". After this there was an interview of 45 min with one assessor. Then there was an interview of 1 hour with another assessor. This is what happens after passing the assessment centre. (AXA)
- I was asked to prepare a ten-minute presentation for the day on why IBM should employ me. I had to present myself to one person (IBM)
- I had five days notice to prepare a presentation on "Why I am the right person for the Graduate Programme" using PowerPoint. I used the SAS website and practised the presentation a lot: once I had written the intro and challenges I read aloud with slides as I would present it, till I was happy with that stage and then wrote the next part (skills required and evidence that I have those skills). Practise your presentation as you will give it; Stand up, speak to the “room”, change slide etc. After each “dress rehearsal” I would normally find something I needed to change. When I was happy with the “parts” of the presentation. I bought 3 “clip files”, one to hold my notes, and I printed out the slides for the managers and put these in their own files. One manager used his copy to make notes during the presentation. I printed out a copy of my CV and my online application, to take with me, I’m glad I did this as the manager had copies and referred to them when he asked questions. (SAS)
- Do research into software methodologies and software testing. Someone gave me the tip to research Agile methodology in particular and to mention it during my interview, but I didn't get a chance. Might want to do that. (Accenture Technology Solutions)
- Just be a friendly person and chat with them. (Flambeau Europlast)
- Research the company etc! (AXA)
- Very nice day, relaxed even though there was a lot to do. Just read up on how to behave in this type of day and should be fine. (Cable & Wireless)
- Prepare thoroughly and ask the Careers Service to help you out because they are very helpful. (AXA)
- Always make sure to do SOME research on the company as it is usually one of the first questions and if you don't get it right it could make you nervous for the rest of the interview plus doesn't give a good impression at all. (Cable & Wireless)
- Have a look at the annual report to find out more about the business. The interview is relaxed so make sure you are prepared but be yourself (HP)
Make sure you understand the role you are applying for and the key compentencies it requires. Most of all be yourself, you will quickly get a feeling on whether HP is the right place for you. (HP)
- It is a fairly relaxed day, make sure you have prepared answers for the competency areas even if it is just mentally, the interviewer won't be looking for scripted answers. (Logica)
- Do some research into the company and review a list of competencies and at least think of some examples. (Thomson Reuters)
- Don’t panic. If you do, you’re likely to omit things and fail. Practise answering interview questions in front of a mirror or a few friends. As for the aptitude tests, Ford should send you a sample but try to do the additional exercises in the Careers Service. (Ford)
- Be yourself, relax and enjoy. You will feel challenged, and feel very tired, but that's expected! (Morgan Stanley)
- The HR person made a point of stating that no knowledge would be needed of SAS for the telephone interview. I ignored this and read their website. Unsurprisingly, the first question asked was about my knowledge of SAS! If you do your research and follow the advice on the careers website you should have no problems with the telephone interview. (SAS)
- Save travel receipts as you need these to claim back your expenses. (SAS)
- Preparation is crucial. Smart dress code. Good attitude required. Don’t just sit in reception – start chatting to the other applicants. Prepare some bullet points to jog your memory. Be calm – everyone makes a mistake at some point during the day. If you handle it calmly then it will be fine. Group exercise – don’t just sit back – put yourself forward. Don’t sound too aggressive though. Andy put himself forward to be time keeper. Use people’s names – at the end you are required to discuss what happened and it looks better if you can mention people by name. It’s a tough day - knackered afterwards! (IBM assessment day)
- People very friendly, generally relaxed atmosphere and the exercises aren't very tough to be honest. (Atos Origin)
The interviewer was friendly, not cold and robotic! (Cable & Wireless)
- Interviewer was very friendly and made me feel at ease. Interview was only 15 minutes long. (GSK)
- It is a very relaxed day, they are not there to catch you out or make it difficult. The emphasis is on getting to know the real you, rather than box ticking exercises. Application process seems very well organised, I had one person dealing with my application throughout the process. Very open interview (this took me be surprise). (HP)
- Began by asking me to tell him about my CV, this actually took up 3/4 of the interview! There were then competency questions based around the role itself, so as the role I was put forward for was customer facing I was asked competency questions based on experiences with customers. I was also asked Why HP and why that role? The day was very well organised and they graduate recruitment staff are very welcoming. I got offered the role the next day, and the application process was quick throughout (HP)
- Very friendly, interview goes very quickly! Be prepared to talk about something new and exciting in IT. (Logica)
- Lady was pretty emotionless, typing away as I spoke. Not terribly hard or difficult questions really. (Thomson Reuters)
- Interview was quite short, just three competency questions and some intro questions about what position you're interested in etc. (Vodafone)
- The interviewer was really nice and easy going. Great Company to work for. Loads of perks and benefits along with decent salary and working with the heart of technology (ATS)
- Make sure you know a lot about HP, stuff about their history who they work with what they make etc Interviewer was very nice and didn't mind if you took a few minutes to think. Their call centre is very noisy so you have to speak quite loud for them to hear you properly (HP phone interview)
The first night & meal was really good - unassessed and relaxed environment with existing graduates, really found out lots of good information about the job. Lunch on the second day is not with assessors either.Very good recruitment team, well structured day to give you lots of opportunities to prove yourself. (Morgan Stanley)
FDM - IT Graduate Training Scheme
Good news ... I was offered a position so thanks for all of your support and guidance: it's really made the difference. There were 5 of us, on the first day we had a team exercise which was to debate cybernetics and robotics: for and against arguments, we then had our individual presentations.
On the second day there were no interviews and it was just coding for 7 hours. For 2 hours I had no code written and my lack of experience in Unix really showed. After the lunch break I really started to focus and just thought this is more of a quantity not quality situation, I felt if I show my effort it may help my cause. At the end of the day I had an interview with a manager, she was basically just asking why did I apply for the job, are your flexible, are your commited for 2 years.
The first final interview was a technical interview: I had to explain my code and what I was trying to do. I also showed how I planned the night before and also how I would have approached the task if I was more experienced. Then it was another slightly mor eintense interview with another HR manager, but I've always felt honesty is the best policy, so when I was asked what I know about the role I gave my answer but also said 'to be honest at this moment I have only a rough idea'. I felt that the interview went very well and I also feel I sold myself on the final day. When they told me I had the job they also said that they would be lining me up for an interview with Lloyds bank. (FDM)
- Interviews lots more help with interview skills.
- Interview Reports A selection of reports completed by students after they have been to interview is on the web. These give details of questions asked, tests administered and tips for candidates.
- Other Practice Interviews Interviews for postgraduate study, scientific research, and other areas as well as general interviews. You will be asked common questions found in these interviews and given tips on how to answer them.
- Psychometric Tests The tests many employers give you at interview
- Postgraduate Applications and Interviews