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Practice Interviews

What to expect from a Practice Interview

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

*If you don't need to practice your interview technique in this way, you can use a Short Guidance session if you just have a questions about what to expect and how best to prepare for the real thing.

Appointment availability and how to book

How to book a Practice Interview

As soon as you receive an invite to a real interview, 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 should then be returned to UCL Careers by email*, with your application for the job/course as requested on the form.

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 will 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.

If you are having problems opening the form: It is a Word document. You can use desktop@UCL Anywhere to access your UCL desktop, and all programmes available on UCL computers. The form will open on this system if you're having any compatibility problems.

Availability of Practice Interview appointments

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

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 Bank Holidays and UCL Closure Days

Preparing for your Practice Interview

You should treat your Practice Interview like the real thing in terms of preparation.

The Interviews section of our website highlights a range of resources which provide detailed information on what to expect during the interview process and how to prepare for it by covering things like:

  • The different interview types or assessment exercises typically used by recruiters and how these are assessed
  • Advice on how to think about and best promote your own skills and experience in relation to the competencies that the recruiter is looking for
  • Examples of questions that are commonly used by graduate recruiters in interviews

These resources come in a range of formats including:

  • Downloadable / printable pdf help sheets
  • Links to key websites with either generic or sector specific interview advice
  • An interactive Moodle-based course on interview preparation
  • An online video interview simulator (so you can record yourself answering practice interview questions then review your answers against tips from recruiters)
  • A list of books which can be useful for further reading and are available to borrow from UCL Careers

The Interviews page will also highlight any events we have coming up which could help with your interview preparation and explains how to connect with UCL Alumni who may be able to provide additional support when preparing for your real interview.

We strongly recommend that you make as much use of these resources as possible BEFORE your Practice Interview as this will make the coaching session more productive.

What we don't / can't cover

Technical Interviews
There are a range of different industry areas where this type of interview is common and many of the sector specific Interview Preparation resources we stock or refer to will include tips on how to prepare for this type of interview. However, as recruiters will be testing your knowledge on a specific subject area that our Consultants may not be familiar with, we'll be unable to provide relevant questions or assess whether your answers are accurate.

Telephone Interviews
As the Practice Interview session will include a period of feedback and further discussion after the role play exercise part, we're unable to conduct Practice Interview appointments over the phone. However, for those who are unable to come in in person, (e.g. those who live outside of London), we can offer Practice Interviews via Skype.

Skype Interviews

Skype Logo

Due to the nature and format of the interview coaching appointments, we strongly recommend that you attend in person where possible.

However, if you're not based in London or will find it difficult to come to UCL Careers for your Practice Interview, the Careers Consultant can do the role play interview and feedback discussion over Skype.

If you would like a Skype appointment, you must mention this at the point of booking. We will then provide details of our Skype account and instructions for how to contact us on the day of your appointment.

Please note however that due to the nature of the coaching session, we are unable to conduct Practice Interviews by phone. If you would like to talk to a Careers Consultant over the phone about best ways to prepare for an interview or discuss any queries / concerns you have, you can book a Short Guidance appointment instead of a Practice Interview.

If you are late or unable to attend


If you know you won't be able to make your appointment, you must contact us with as much notice as possible to cancel so that the slot can be offered to another student. Ideally, please let us know at least one working day before your appointment but definitely with no less than one hour's notice.

Late arrival

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. 

Repeated missed appointments

If you book and miss your first appointment through cancelling or late arrival, we cannot guarantee availability of a second appointment slot before your real interview but will re-book if possible.

However, if you miss a second appointment, we will be unable to offer a third hour long slot and you will instead be directed to our Short Guidance service for help with preparing for your interview.

Practice Interview workshop