Twelve Tips for a Successful (FET) Course Interview

Image of personTara McGuire is the Recruitment Officer for our Further Education and Training (FET) Service and each year interviews hundreds of applicants for our huge range of FET courses. In this blog Tara shares some of her top tips for preparing for a successful course interview.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

This powerful quote from Nelson Mandela reminds us about always moving forward to where you want to be and education and training can help you realise your true potential: learning is for life and as the world continues to evolve and change at a rapid pace, so must we continue to grow and improve our learning and skills.

First Steps

Think about the future you want, the job you want and how that fits into your life: do you have a specific career in mind? If so, that’s great – you can start your course search with Donegal ETB immediately. If you’re not so sure, that’s ok too – contact our Adult Guidance and Information Service who’ll help you identify possible career paths and provide impartial advice on educational options available through Donegal ETB’s FET Service and other providers.

Next Steps

Your next step then is to research available course options, gather as much information as you can and speak to people who work in the industry you wish to pursue your career in: ask lots of questions about the good, the bad and the ugly of that industry! All jobs have their ups and downs and the more you know before making a commitment to a course of study the better. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, the next step is to submit your application and start to prepare for the course interview.

The Interview Process – Twelve Tips

The word ‘interview’ is one that implies pressure, but you don’t need to worry as we’re here to help. That said, it doesn’t mean that you should rock up for an interview unprepared!

The interview process will vary depending on the course you are applying for and the level of qualification attached. For example, courses that sit at Levels 1, 2 or 3 on the National Framework of Qualifications will take a very informal approach to an interview, more of a friendly chat really. Courses at Levels 4, 5 and 6 on the Framework are a more advanced qualification and have varying eligibility criteria attached so the interview process for these courses will be a little more formal in nature. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you prepare for the interview for courses Levels 4, 5 and 6:

  • Research the course you’re applying for – have an understanding of the modules and the level of commitment required to successfully complete the course.
  • Think about the types of questions you might be asked, prepare your answers in advance and practice them at home.
  • Dress appropriately for interview as personal presentation is important.
  • Plan to arrive at least ten minutes prior to your allocated time. Make sure you have your letter of invite with you just in case you get delayed as this letter will have the appropriate contact details should you need them.
  • Bring all relevant documentation to include your CV and any other educational certs or industry references you may have (present them neatly): know your CV inside and out.
  • On entering the interview room, greet the interviewer/s with a pleasant smile and maintain good eye contact (remember we are here to help, there’s no need to be nervous!)
  • Be enthusiastic about the course and take the opportunity to tell the interviewers why you want to do this course and why you believe you would make a good candidate.
  • Listen carefully to the questions being asked. If you don’t understand a question, ask for further clarification.
  • Make sure to highlight your key skills, achievements and talents. Everyone has something to bring to the table!
  • Prepare one or two questions to ask at the end relating to the course, job or industry.
  • Close by indicating that you want a place on the course.
  • Thank the interviewers for their time and tell them you look forward to hearing from them.

If you follow these steps the interview process will be a walk in the park – my job and the job of the interview panel is to assess your interest and eligibility for the course you’ve applied for. We want to help you take the next step to achieve your potential: developing a passion for learning is true growth and it’s our job to help you grow.