Ace Your Interview: 5 Top Tips!



First of all, if you’ve been shortlisted for interviews, Congratulations! Making it to the interview stage means you’ve already made a good impression on your potential future employer(s).


1. Positive Attitude

‘Be positive, patient and persistent.’

We are far too often our own harshest critics and this is not the mindset to enter your interview with. If you’ve got the interview, you’ve already impressed! You’ll be just as intelligent and capable as everyone else on the interview list, all you’ve got to do is prove it. Employers are looking for candidates who not only fit the competencies required but also a personality that fits the company culture. Greet your interviewers with a smile, be friendly and relax in the knowledge that good interviewers only want to bring out the best in you.


2. Self Awareness

Tell me about yourself…

What motivates/inspires you?

What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?

You are the topic of this interview. You must be prepared to talk about yourself. You are absolutely guaranteed to be asked a question or two about yourself, so no excuses not to prepare. Don’t undersell yourself or your achievements. Practise with friends or make an appointment with us in the UCD Career Development Centre to perfect your answers. Also, be sure to know your own CV/application inside out, you could get asked about anything that’s in there.


3. STAR Technique

The STAR technique is a widely used approach to answering competency based questions in a clear and effective manner. The ‘STAR’ approach to structuring your answers: Situation (set the scene), Task (what you set out to achieve), Action (what YOU did to achieve it), Result (the outcome). When discussing work experience, focus on your own contribution and what you’ve achieved rather than just listing the tasks required.


4. Know the Organisation & Job Description

Do your research. What will be expected of you in this role? Do you know anyone already working in the organisation that you could reach out to? Has the organisation been in the news recently or had any interesting developments? Additionally, if you know who will sit on the panel, do your research on their roles and backgrounds also.


5. Take Notes

Every interview is a learning experience. As soon as possible after the interview, it’s a good idea to take note of the questions you were asked and your thoughts on the experience. These could come in really handy if you get called back for a second interview or for other interviews in the future!


‘Fail to prepare, Prepare to fail’. You’ve already gotten the opportunity to interview, so you don’t want to let yourself down by failing to prepare.

Take some confidence from the fact that you’ve been asked to interview. The interviewer already believes that you can do the job. You’ve just got to believe in yourself and most importantly, BE YOURSELF.




How do I choose the right career?


How do I choose the right career?

You can now find a massive amount of career information online – some great, and some not so great! We’re here, at the UCD Career Development Centre, to point you towards the best and most reliable resources to help you plan your career!

If you’re not sure what you want to do yet, that’s OK, but you can get started by identifying your skills and strengths, values, interests and what might suit your personality.

How? Let me introduce you to ‘Profiling for Success, a fantastic resource on the UCD Careers website which can be used to guide you. Log in using the following – Client code: tflhe, Access code: ucd, Password: ucd4 .

Profiling for Success contains 7 different assessments, also know as psychometric tests. Why do I need a psychometric test? Well maybe you’ve been asking yourself some of the questions below…


What motivates me?

Money? Flexible work hours? Opportunities to travel? The ‘Values Based Indicator of Motivation’ assessment will help you to identify those things that matter to you most. And in turn, you can look at careers that satisfy these motivations.


How can I find a career that matches my interests?

Ever heard the saying ‘The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life’? Finding a career that matches your personal interests would be a wonderful advantage and you can start by using the ‘Careers Interest Inventory’ to find out more.


What is my work style? What can I bring to an organisation?

Are you a natural organiser? An advisor? A leader? A negotiator? An investigator? You can find out by taking the ‘Type Dynamics Indicator’ assessment. Understanding your individual style will help you to refine your career focus.


What am I good at?

Do you find you work best with numbers or with words? Do you have an analytical, problem solving mind?  Take the ‘Reasoning Skills’ assessments to give you a better idea!


How do I learn most effectively?

Do you learn best from reading? Observing? On the job, hands-on, learning? Understanding your learning style can significantly improve your chances of success. So what are you waiting for? Take the ‘Learning Styles Indicator’ assessment asap!


Hopefully we’ve sparked your curiosity and more importantly, we hope ‘Profiling for Success‘ helps to guide you in right direction!

Have a great week!




Interviews and Assessment Centres allow an employer to assess you as a potential employee and try to decide if you’re a good match for the organisation. They also provide an important opportunity for you to find out if you want to work with the employer… prepare well so that you’re confident, knowledgeable and ready to impress!


Tips from UCD Career Development Centre




  • Use the ‘Profiling for Success’ abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning tests to help you prepare for assessment centres. These are available to you through links from




UCD Careers Connect

Did you know that through UCD Careers Connect you can:

  • Access a host of online resources for free, which include:

    • Profiling for Success – Psychometric tests

    • Going Global

  • Book an appointment with a careers consultant

  • Book attendance on one of our many employer events or workshops on campus

  • Search and apply for job vacancies and internships

First things First

  1. Log onto UCD Careers Connect (bookmark this page!).

  2. Student login is for current undergraduate and postgraduate students.  You will be brought to UCD Single Sign On screen where you can login using your UCD Connect details (student number and password).

  3. Alumni login and registration is separate.  Please note, if you have not already registered for alumni account, you will need to do so before using UCD Careers Connect.  This process should only take 5 minutes to complete and approvals are carried out within two hours during business hours.



Home Dashboard

Your home Dashboard has a list of online resources you can access on the left hand side.  It is also where you will see the menu bar on top of the webpage.


My Profile 

This is where you can access and edit your personal details, email preferences, vacancies of interest as well as automating gradireland registration.

To keep up-to-date with weekly events, adjust your ‘Email Preferences’ as outlined below.



Book an Appointment

1. From the Appointments tab, select ‘Search & Book’.



 2. Select the type of appointment you would like and click ‘show results’.



3. Click ‘Book now’ on your preferred appointment time.



4. You will be asked to specify your query.
5. Click on ‘Book this appointment’ to finish.




This is where you can search and apply for jobs and academic internships specific to your discipline.  You can filter by:

  • Business area

  • Location

  • Salary

  • Expiry date

  • Country

Please note that the ‘Academic Internship’ option may not be visible to everyone, depending on whether your college is running an academic internship or not.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.



Find out how to develop effective applications and how to prepare successfully for interviews and assessment centres.
  • Keep an eye on for:
    • Relevant Careers workshops and seminars and employer presentations
    • Jobs and Vacancies
  • Look at the Winning Job Applications section of our Career Zone self-study online module available via UCD Career Development Centre website
  • Take the ‘Profiling for Success’ psychometric tests available to you through links from Use the abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning tests to help you prepare for assessments which are part of the recruitment process for many graduate positions.
  • Google yourself!
    94% of recruiters use, or plan to use social media for recruiting. Most employers will, at the very least, search for your name in Google. Before applying for jobs: check everywhere they’ll find you on Social media – your ‘Digital Footprint’– you might be surprised what shows up!
    • Clean up your social media profiles
    • Use consistent messaging across all profiles
    • Create professional profiles e.g. LinkedIn
  • Make an appointment on with a Career & Skills Consultant at the UCD Career Development Centre for advice.

Assessment Centres


Employers use a variety of methods to select the best graduates at assessment centres – knowing what to expect and being well prepared will increase your chances of success.

Tips from UCD Career Development Centre


1. See the following for some great advice to help you prepare for assessment centres:

2. Use the ‘Profiling for Success’ abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning tests to help you prepare for assessment centres. These are available to you through links from our Online Resources

3. Keep an eye on for relevant Careers workshops, seminars and employer presentations.

4. Like us on Facebook and follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.



Find out about different types of interviews and how to prepare successfully for them…

Tips from UCD Career Development Centre


  • Keep an eye on for relevant Careers workshops and seminars and employer presentations.

Nurse Open Days – Dublin




Mont Clare Hotel in Merrion Square, Dublin


Meet the Aintree team in Dublin to discuss our superb nursing opportunities and excellent benefits package at our NHS Foundation Trust based in Liverpool UK.


Informal Interviews will be available on both days.


  • Wednesday 1st June – 11:00 till 5pm
  • Thursday 2nd June – 09:30 till 5pm


If you would like to come along you can email us at  or call us on 0151 529 3030.


If you have any nurse friends who are interested too (student or experienced), please feel free to invite them along!



Event run by the Aintree Resourcing Team.

The Questions you need to ask at interview by Engage Education

Engage Education Pic 1

When you attend a teaching interview remember it is a chance for you to find out whether the school and role are a good fit for you and not just the interviewer’s chance to ask you questions and find out whether you are a good match for them.

We assist new graduates and experienced teachers prepare and interview with English schools everyday. Interviews can happen face to face at our exclusive free IDAY event, over the phone or via skype but they are always an opportunity for both parties to question the other before making or accepting an offer of employment.

We have some suggestions especially for new teachers about what to ask at interview, to determine whether the position you are interviewing for is going to be the right job. This applies for jobs in your home country or any of the 1300+ schools we work with in England.

The Principal’s or Head teacher’s have asked you the questions, now…

Engage Education Pic 2

  • What support do you offer new starters at your school? What you want to know if whether there is a mentor program, assisting to transition into the school and their way of working and ongoing help when needed. A school that can let you know exactly how it supports new staff and can give examples of how it will assist you is a promising start!
  • How would you describe the ethos of the school? This is where you can get a feel for the leadership style at the school and what the important goals for the students and staff. If this answer aligns to your beliefs and approach you may have a good match. You may be able to start this question with a comment about what you have gathered from their website, so you can also show you have done some research.
  • What behaviour management approach is used at the school? You may also want to ask what is expected of the students in terms of their behaviour. The school may have little behavioural issues, or a very structured approach like the use of Positive Behaviour for Learning or a Strike policy. The answers will give you an idea of what to expect and the approach of management in support and managing behavioural issues.
  • What will be expected of me other than my classroom teaching role? How will I be assessed? This shows that you are looking at your role in the wider school community and also you will find out what ways your performance will be assessed during your contract.
  • What are you most proud of about your school? It is nice to hear a passionate leader talking about the school’s achievements and where they have excelled. The answers will give insight into many things- what is important to management and the things the students and staff have achieved.

So there are 5 questions that can help you decide whether the school and role are right for you. Other questions you may want to ask are: “What will be my biggest challenge at your school? ” or ” What opportunities will there be for me to progress in your school if I am successful?”

We all have different concerns and priorities when we are trying to select the right job. Your Engage Education Ireland consultant will be able to help you navigate the many school vacancies and opportunities you need to consider. Our iday events are a great way to put these questions to good use in face to face interviews! Contact Rachel in the Dublin office at or call 0864109883 for a chat about your options!

How to use Linked In





How to use Linked In

We often get asked these questions by students and graduates:

  • How should I use Linked In?
  • How do I use Linked In?
  • How do I update my profile?
  • Should I put my entire CV on Linked In?


Here we share some top tips from Linked In itself along with some useful links and articles from other resources. Happy networking!

jpeg LinkedIn Network Professionally

Other useful reads include:

How to Use LinkedIn: The Ultimate List of LinkedIn Tips

LinkedIn Tips | Official LinkedIn Blog

Top Tips for Putting Your LinkedIn Profile to Work (Infographic)

The 31 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips for Job Seekers

Skills for Working Life 2016: Projecting a Professional Image




Our annual Certificate in Skills for Working Life course runs from February to April.

If you’re not signed up to the course or you’d like a reminder of the session, have a look at the slides by clicking on the link below recently presented by Philip Westermeyer, Learning & Development Manager at City law firm, Clyde & Co.


UCD Projecting a Professional Image


Remaining presentations will be published to the blog on a weekly basis.

UCD Career Development Centre



Interview Tips from Tradewind Recruitment






1. Do your research
Fail to plan, and you plan to fail. You are certain to be asked specific questions about the school, so make sure you’ve done your homework on things like their ofsted ratings and about schools in the local area.

2. Practice your answers
Although there is no set format that every job interview will follow, there are some questions that you can almost guarantee will crop up, you should always prepare. Think about your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as being able to explain why you would be the best person for the job. Think about the positive outcomes you have achieved from projects and think about how you can demonstrate that.

3. Bring Examples
Saying you are a good teacher is one thing, showing them is another. Seeing believing after all. Bring in examples of your work you have done previously. E.g. school plans you have created, and even some of the work that your class/ students have done for you. This is a great way of demonstrating that you are a good fit for the school.

4. Use Social Media
The power of social media shouldn’t be underestimated. Have a look at the schools social media pages; see the posts they have made. This is a great way of finding out more about the school culture and what happens inside the school. You can also see any comments left by parents on their views of the school.

5. Be Professional
Do not say anything bad or false about your previous employers. This give a bad impression of you and your old employer. The interviewer would see this is a negative character trait. Be professional and answer questions clearly. If there were any issues in your previous employment state them clearly but do not point the finger too much.

6. Look the part
Appearances shouldn’t matter, but the plain fact is that you should look professional and hireable.. Make sure your shoes are polished, your clothes fit correctly and that your accessories are subtle. Dressing one level above the job you’re applying for shows a desire to succeed.

7. Stay calm
Good preparation is the key to staying in control. Plan your route, allowing extra time for any unexpected delays and get everything you need to take with you ready the night before. Remember to speak clearly, smile and remember that your interviewers are just normal people, and the may be nervous too!

8. Ask questions
You should always have some questions for your interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the position. So for example, ask what their plans are for teh school, what areas need improving. Prepare a minimum of five questions, some which will give you more information about the job and some which delve deeper into the culture and goals of the school.

9. End the Interview Well
Always end a interview on a positive. Smile and say thank you for the interviewers time, after all they are busy people and took time out to speak with you and answer your questions. This gives the interviewer a positive impression of you.

10. You be the Interviewer
A interview should be seen as a two way transaction. The interviewer will be asking you plenty of questions, but a interview also give you the perfect opportunity to get more information about the school, culture etc. You should use this opportunity to find out as much as you can about the school, by using point 1 by doing your research.


Tradewind Recruitment and SANZA Teaching Agency Specialising in the recruitment of Teachers and Support Staff for schools and nurseries throughout the UK.


Career Workshop Series – UCD Career Development Series – Semester 2




UCD Career Development Centre offers a range of seminars and workshops aimed at helping you build the skills you need to master the graduate recruitment process and compete successfully for the job you want. This semester our Career & Skills Consultant ‘Sophie Carey‘ is running a series of workshops and these are all bookable through Careers Connect.

Careers Seminars Semester 2 Jpeg


Interview Tips from AIG

Interview Tips from across the table

So you’ve done your research, polished your CV, sent off your job applications, and now you’ve been invited to have an interview. Great news! Except now you have to have an interview.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of crazy interviews and so many people leave feeling like they had no idea what the interviewer was looking for, so we wanted to tell you what we look for at AIG, and how you can feel better prepared for your interviews.


  •  Do your research. It will really show in the interview if you’re aware of not just the company but also the industry, and tells the interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in the role rather than just being willing to accept anyone who will hire you! Regardless of the function you’re applying for (we’re an insurance company, for example, that hires a lot of IT students) it’s useful to have an understanding of the industry. Research will also help you to ask good questions in your interview (more of that to come later).
  • Know your CV. You wrote it so make sure you know what’s on it. You don’t have to have everything memorised but if there’s a job or activity on there, you should be ready to talk about it. For a telephone interview it can be useful to have a copy of it in front of you too.
  • Ask good questions. This one is really important! Asking questions shows the interviewer that not only have you researched the company, but you are also taking your career seriously. You might want to ask about how the company stays ahead of their competitors, or how they are adapting to the new technology, or maybe you want to know more about your specific role and the training that’s offered, or the career path. You should also have a few questions prepared in case the interviewer gives you the answer to your question in conversation, leaving you with nothing to ask!
  • Be on time. Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people are late for both in person interviews and telephone interviews. We have woken a few people up by calling for their telephone interview! Make sure you’ve got enough time so you’re not rushing, and so that you’re ready for any complications (i.e. train delays) that may arise.
  • Try and enjoy it. You’re going to have a lot of interviews in your life, so you may as well start getting used to, and even start enjoying them, now. I know they’re not the most fun thing you can do, but remember the interviewer is just a person and they really want you to be good and do well as it helps them! We’re not against you!


We hope these tips help you with your next interview, and remember it’s all practice. If you don’t do well in an interview, ask for feedback and learn from it. You’re at the beginning of your career and at this stage it’s all learning.

Good luck!

aig registered AIG



AIG harnesses our risk expertise and financial strength to create a better future.

Insurance is all about assessing risk.  Since risk is all around us, insurance is everywhere too. We deliver on our promise to help more than 88 million people in over 130 countries plan for the future, recover from loss, and retire with confidence.

At AIG we are firmly committed to balancing your career, your professional development and your career aspirations. We provide the freedom, resources, and support to help map your career path across numerous disciplines and geographies.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @AIGCampusCareer or visit

Morgan Stanley application deadlines. Not prepared yet? These videos & articles may help!

Morgan Stanley




In advance of Morgan Stanley’s upcoming deadlines (Summer Analyst this Sunday, 29th November 2015 and Spring Insight on Sunday, 13th December) the company have shared some content which they hope will be of interest in assisting students with applications and interviews.

Morgan Stanley has worked with The Gateway to produce two new videos:


and four articles:


The How to ace your Investment Banking Internship Application article video will be of particular interest as it includes advice from a number of the Morgan Stanley recruiters on  applying for an Investment Bank, as well as some specific information on what the company are looking for across a number of their divisions.

For Spring Insight  the What is Investment Banking video might be a really good way to prepare for both the application and the interview process and, more generally, to get a good overview of what Morgan Stanley do.

Application Deadlines

  • Spring Insight, Sunday, 13th December, 2015 – to apply, please click here
  • Summer Analyst this Sunday, 29th November 2015 – to apply, please click here

You will be required to complete a set of online psychometric tests as part of your application.

Morgan Stanley


Survey says that ‘students feel they are not learning job skills’ – UCD Careers can help!

Irish Times




‘Significant numbers of students in higher education feel they are not learning skills which will contribute to their chances of getting a job‘, a new national survey indicates, as reported by today’s Irish Times.

The UCD Career Development Centre are here to help! We offer a range of resources,  both online and at the Career Development Centre itself.

How can we help?


One to One Appointments

Students (and alumni) can book a ‘quick query’ appointment (20 min) with aCareer & Skills Consultant to talk about:


Events – Employer and Centre Sessions

The centre runs subject and industry-specific recruitment fairs, workshops andemployer presentations throughout the year so students have direct access to network with employees from different companies throughout the academic year.

See our website for details of recruitment fairs which have run this year, we will be providing the same for 2016/17. This is a fantastic opportunity for UCD students to avail of.

Log into Careers Connect and browse the events section to see all of our employer presentations on campus as well as Centre related skills sessions and presentations.

We also advertise these events on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


Online Resources

Logging into Careers Connect will give students (and alumni) access to a range of online resources free of charge. To use these resources, a number of codes are required depending on what you want to use, such as: client code, access code and password (all available on log in). These resources include:

  • ‌ Profiling for Success – Psychometric Tests
  • 10 Minutes With‌
  • Vault
  • Going Global
  • CEI Internships
  • Glass Door
  • Workmaze


Self-study optional online module – Career Zone

If you feel that you do not want to visit us in person and can learn these skills in a self-taught environment, then our self-study optional module (non-credit bearing) might be the answer! This module, produced specifically for UCD students, can assist with Career Planning.  Career Zone is available to students throughBlack Board. Simply log in and search for Career Zone to register directly. Students can register at any time of the year.

The UCD Career Development Centre wishes all UCD students the very best with the rest of Semester 1 and we hope to see more students dropping into the office to avail of our services.

Career pathway

Got an Interview coming up? See our Tips & Techniques



Whether it is for a graduate position, internship, part-time or seasonal work, if you are invited to interview it means that ‘on paper’ you seem like a good fit for the role. It means the potential employer would like to validate this by finding out a bit more about you. An interview also provides you with the opportunity to evaluate whether the organisation and role are right for you!

Here at the UCD Career Development Centre, we provide a wealth of information on interview tips and techniques on our website.

You might also like to consider attending an interview skills workshop at the Career Development Centre, where you will learn about:

Effective applications: developing stand-out CVs and cover letters (45 minutes)
Identify your strengths
Design, Develop and Deliver Compelling Presentations
Get hired
Excel at Interview: A Strategy for Success
Ace your Assessment Centre
Creative Thinking & Problem Solving

Bookings for sessions like this are available through Careers Connect. You can also discuss this with a Career & Skills Consultant by making an appointment.

By taking the steps above to prepare for your interview, you could soon be hearing the words below!

hired text

Career Zone – Online Learning with the Career Development Centre

Career Zone Online Module



The world of work is constantly evolving so we must be prepared to meet these changes!

When planning your career it is important to be adaptable with your plans, proactive with your approach and open to opportunities. Career planning is too important to be left to chance, because decisions you make now may influence your future career path. Career planning is an ongoing process that can help you manage your learning and development. This is where our online module ‘Career Zone‘ can help you.

Career Zone’ is a non-credit bearing, self-study optional online module available via Blackboard and the UCD Career Development Centre website for UCD students.

Key Features:

On line module

Accessible anytime, anywhere!

Students can learn in their own time at their own pace Structure:

The on-line module is divided into four sections;

1. Career planning

2. Creative job search

3. Winning job applications

4. Interview strategy

Each section provides a structured step-by-step approach to the topic such as planning your career or producing an effective CV. Each module contains an introduction and summary as well as built in exercises to complete in your own time.

Register today and start planning for your future.

Career Zone Online Module

UCD Career Development Centre



Some very useful FREE Online Resources for students

Online Resources

Not many students or alumni know that there is a range of FREE Online Resources available through UCD Careers Connect. Yes, that’s right, FREE! This blog is all about information sharing and here, we will outline exactly what each of these resources has to offer you, to help you start planning for your future.

‌‌        Profiling for Success

 Profiling for Success – Psychometric Tests

 These are very useful in career planning, helping you understand more about your strengths and how these might shape your career and personal choices. When you complete a test, a report is automatically generated and emailed to you! Simples! The report comes in the form of a PDF document attached to the email, and includes an explanation of your results. You can take each test as often as you wish.

 10 minutes with 

10 Minutes With‌

This is a career website to help students on their career journey by providing insight from different professionals and giving you access to more than 200,000 jobs and internships worldwide. 10 Minutes With interviews company directors, executives and entrepreneurs and asks them to explain their jobs and day-to-day activities in exactly 10 minutes. Pretty short, neat and sweet! The video interviews help you understand the true nature of different roles and the skills required in a variety of sectors globally in Fortune 500 companies as well as start-ups.



This is a comprehensive online career resource designed to help you look into potential careers, research top employers and find out about trends in your industry.


Going GlobalGoing Global

This provides country-specific career and employment information, including world-wide internship and job postings and career resources.



CEI Internships CEI Internships

This resource offers individually verified information and resources to students seeking internships in the US.



GlassdoorGlass Door

Here, you can find out what it’s really like to work for over 300,000 companies. Think of it as ‘TripAdvisor for jobs’. There are also vacancies and internships advertised on the site.




Targeted at Business students, this company offers a comprehensive suite of products and services to assist both students and Alumni in every stage of their career development.


How do you access these great resources?

To use these tests, you’ll need three codes: client code, access code and password. All you have to do is log into UCD Careers Connect and see the ‘Online Resources’ section on your ‘Welcome’ page. Here, you will see all of the above resources along with the required passwords.


Remember that you can also make an appointment to see a Career & Skills Consultant if you need some help figuring out what to do next!


UCD Career Development Centre Team

Skills for Working Life: Acing Graduate Interviews

KPMG - Acing Graduate Interviews presentation






Paul Vance from KPMG presented the week 2 session on Acing Graduate Interviews. The interview is your chance to make a great impression and convince the interviewers to choose you, and it’s as much about how you present yourself and your body language, as well as what you say. If you missed the session or you’d like to refresh your mind, have a look over the slides.