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Job Interviews

Top Tips on How to ‘Perform’ in an Interview Role Play…

Why do Companies use the ‘role play’ in an interview? Well, it is argued that the combination of both a face-to-face interview and a ‘role play’ helps a company find the right person for the job in hand. A face-to-face interview helps to highlight your communication skills and capabilities and experience, but a ‘role play’ helps an interviewer see if you can demonstrate , in reality, the skills and experience, you say you have.

Sadly for some, nerves may hinder their natural ability to ‘perform’ in a role play situation. However the reality is that Role Plays in interviews are here to stay, so without further ado, please check out the top tips below, that may well help you if faced with the ordeal!!


Prepare! I hear you cry! How can you prepare for a Role Play, when you do not know the scenario the role play will take? Well without being ‘dramatic’, in this part of the interview you are being asked to ‘act’ out a role. This ‘scene’ will generally be a scenario you would typically find yourself in, in that job. Do yourself a favour therefore and think about the type of situations that may come up in that type of job. Remember the key duties and responsibilities that were advertised in the job spec and the experience it said you needed to be suitable for the job. Most likely, the role play will put you into a ‘scene’ where you have to undertake a key duty, and expect you to demonstrate the skills and experiences you would need to have to cope in the daily duties of the job. For example, If you are applying for a Sales / Business Development based role – expect the role play to get you to demonstrate you can sell!!

Read the Brief you are given – and then read it again!!!! 
It would seem quite obvious that in a role play situation, you would read in detail any supporting information you are given. Supporting information is given because it tells you what you need to know, but not only that it signposts you into the situation that might arise in the role play itself. Imagine its like a DIY piece of furniture that you have to build yourself and you ignore the instructions; you generally mess it up! In my experience, sitting in on role play interviews, those who miss the point of the instructions they are given, mess it up too!

Second quite important point is that if you do not take on board the information and instructions you are given; what does that potentially say about you as an employee?

Don’t go off on a tangent! 

Although this is a ‘scene’, you are not Robert De Niro and this is not Taxi Driver! You are not expected to ‘act’
everyone else out of the room and don’t lose yourself in the moment and go off on some massive tangent. Role plays are there to prove what you have said you can do, you can do in reality! I have sat in interview role plays before, and found applicants have performed their way out of the running of a job, simply by going completely off on one in the role play scenario!

Act Professional – Don’t argue! 

Again, this is based from the experience of seeing applicants completely letting down their professional guards – and occasionally showing their ‘real personality’. Act as if you would act in a real life and professional environment. If in the role play you are faced with a confrontational character, don’t be aggressive and confrontational back. If you are faced with an embarrassing scenario, don’t laugh or lack empathy. It might seem obvious, but a lack of a ‘professional’ and serious approach to an interview role play can have serious consequences to your interview success.

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Still feel that you need more interview advice? Check out Anson Reed, specialists in online interview training and 1-2-1 Interview coaching


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