Expert Reveals Interview Tips for Students Deferring University

It was recently reported that Durham University are asking students to defer until 2021, after the U-turn over A-level results and, with universities planning to take an online approach this forthcoming autumn term, many more students are considering deferring their university placement or opting out completely.

The experts at have put together some simple yet effective interview tips for those who are choosing to defer or opt out of university and get straight into the world of work. 

The most crucial aspect when it comes to interviews is to always prepare. Menno Olsthoorn from says “Part of having a successful interview comes from taking the time to prepare for it.”

“Re-read the job description several times so that you are capable of discussing the position and the requirements associated with it comfortably.”

Tips for Preparation Include:

  • Going through the company’s website to learn about the team and to understand its history
  • Find links to their social media pages to give you an idea of the company’s culture and how they portray themselves to the public
  • Check out Glassdoor to read reviews and experience from ex-employees

Prior to the interview, it is important to work on your speaking skills and being able to think before answering, an interview is a lot like an acting audition.

Menno said

“It’s ok to allow for silence as you take a moment to gather your thoughts before answering a question. That will give you time to formulate a clear statement and keep your cool.”

Tips on Speaking Skills Include:

  • Remember your posture, not only does lifting your spine and guiding your shoulders down and away from your ears show confidence, but it helps you breathe easier and project your voice better
  • Speak slowly to maintain a sense of calm and for your words to be better absorbed

Being able to showcase excellent listening skills will get you far, as it demonstrates your thoughtfulness and ability to work in a team.

Tips on Listening Include:

  • Make eye contact and nod your head as you listen and make sure you understand the questions or comments coming from your interviewer
  • Asking clarifying questions also shows that you were paying attention and helps avoid the embarrassment of a misunderstanding
  • Listening for important information will allow you to refer to the information in later answers

Whether you’re deferring your placement for a year or choosing to start in the working world, interviews are a great experience and should always be seen positively.

For more information on interview skills, read the full blog post here.

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