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Practice Interviews

What to expect...

If you've been invited to any type of interview, you can see a Careers Consultant for up to an hour for a Practice Interview. The session would generally involve:

  • a role play exercise based around typical interview questions for whatever it is you've applied for*
  • feedback from the Consultant on all aspects of your performance in this exercise such as your general interview technique and the suitability / strength of your answers for the role in question
  • advice and tips on further preparation and how improve any weak areas
  • time for you to ask additional questions or address any other concerns you have about the real thing

We aim to make practice interviews as similar to the real thing as possible so you must have a real interview invite before booking.*If you don't need to practice your interview technique in this way, you can use a 30 minute appointment if you just have a questions about what to expect and how best to prepare for the real thing.

What we don't / can't cover...

For most interview types, we can put together a realistic Practice Interview based on what recruiters are likely to ask.

Technical Interviews
Our Consultants do not have specialist, technical knowledge of different industries or on individual research areas. If you're expecting these types of questions as part of the real interview, we can provide advice and tips on how to approach these but we'll be unable to provide examples of specific questions that might be asked or suggest suitable answers for you.

Telephone Interviews
As the Practice Interview session will also include a period of feedback and further discussion after the interview part, we're unable to conduct practice interviews over the phone.

How to prepare...

You should treat the Practice Interview like the real thing in terms of preparation. The resources suggested in the Interviews section of our website will highlight a range of materials available through the Careers Service which provide detailed information on how to prepare and what to expect during the interview process in terms of typical formats and the types of questions that recruiters are likely to ask.

Booking of Appointments...


As soon as you receive an Interview invite, you can download and complete the:

The form is used by the Consultant to identify how you would benefit from a practice interview. They can then focus the session appropriately so make sure you answer all the questions in as much detail as possible. Failure to do so will delay the booking of your appointment.

The form can then be returned to UCL Careers, preferably by email*, with a copy of the application form or CV that you used when applying for the role and any other supporting documents that you think will be useful.

This information is vital for the Careers Consultant to prepare for the session so Practice Interviews will not be booked without it.

When we've received the required paperwork, we'll contact you to arrange a mutually convenient interview time before the real interview.

*If you're unable to email the documents, they can be printed and handed in at the Careers Service in person.


Practice Interview appointments are subject to availability and run all year round.*

They are very popular so we cannot confirm availability of slots until we receive the required booking form as they are booked on a first come first served basis.

If there are no appointments free before your real interview when we receive your booking form, we will keep it and contact you if there are last minute cancellations.

Therefore, even if you've been invited to interview at short notice, please send in the booking form as soon as you can to maximise your chances of getting an appointment before the real thing.

Please note however that due to the preparation time required by the Consultant, we cannot usually book appointments on the same day that a form is submitted.

*Excluding UCL Closure Days

Alternative Support

If you're invited to a real interview with too short notice to book a Practice Interview, you can make use of the wide range of resources suggested on our Help With Interviews page and/or book a 30 minute Research Staff Appointment or a Short Guidance appointment to discuss interview preparation on a 1-1 basis.

If you are late...

If you arrive more than 5 minutes late and the Careers Consultant doesn't feel they can do the practice interview effectively in whatever time is left of your appointment, you will be asked to re-book for a later date if there are still free appointments before the real thing. 

Page last modified on 03 oct 11 12:25 by Martin Brown

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