Preparing for your Work Placement Interview
Many of our full-time courses involve gaining a significant amount of experience in compulsory work placements. Unlike many other colleges, we have a dedicated placement liaison team who will work hard to gain you an interview in a relevant organisation.
It is essential that you are prepared for your interview; placements are scarce and you must make the most of your opportunity as without a confirmed placement you may not be able to start your chosen programme.
So, to help you, we have gathered together some helpful advice…
Familiarise yourself with the organisation beforehand and know the person you are meeting; company websites are often a great source of information. Showing you have taken the time to find out about the company will demonstrate that you are keen and will help prevent any lulls in the conversation.
Particularly if you are going for an interview before your course starts, make sure you are aware of what your course involves, how long you will be on placement for and on which days, and why you want to do the course.
Ensure you have an idea of the industry you are going on placement in, i.e. if you are attending an interview for a student veterinary nurse position, make sure you are familiar with the workings of a veterinary practice and the veterinary nursing profession as a whole.
Have a think about…
Your skills and experience
Before you go for your interview have a think about your situation and know what you want to gain from the placement and course. This will help you to be confident when answering questions that your interviewer may ask you. Some of the things you may want to think about are:
- What are your long term aims?
- What does your course entail and how do you plan to tackle it?
- What previous work experience have you done and what aspects did you like or dislike most?
- What other transferrrble skills/experience have you gained that will help you on placement?
- Why do you want to be a veterinary nurse, kennel assistant, dog groomer etc.?
CV and references
Before your interview, we suggest you gather a copy of your CV and references to take along with you in case your interviewer asks to see these.
More and more people nowadays have a presence on social media. Please be aware of your online profile and what you write both pre and post-interview. A lot of information can be publically accessible and your interviewer may be check up on you online.
Ensure that you dress smartly, ideally smart trousers/skirt and shirt/blouse or a suit. Regardless of the nature of the organisation, do not wear jeans/hoodies. It is preferable to cover tattoos if possible and keep piercings to a minimum. Remember you want to appear professional and make a good impression.
You must arrive on time or ideally a few minutes early. Leave yourself plenty of travel time, however if you are held up in traffic etc., please ensure you call the organisation and let them know, explaining the situation and giving them an estimate of your arrival time.
Make sure you are enthusiastic, passionate and motivated – you need to convince your interviewer that this is really what you want to do!
Do not chew chewing gum or mints during your interview and make sure you turn your mobile phone off before you enter the building.
During the interview
Do not slouch or cross your legs, maintain good posture where possible. Smile – even if you are understandably nervous; you want to appear approachable and not stern.
Make sure you are polite at all times and use your manners; ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ still go a long way.
Try to make eye contact with your interviewer and be conversational. Asking questions will demonstrate your keenness but do not overdo the questions or turn it into a one-sided conversation.
After the interview
Make sure you thank the interviewer for their time.