Tips for interviewing peer researchers

In terms of the interview process for the Peer and Community Researcher posts, we tried to maximise participants’ opportunity to demonstrate their skills and experience, and to ensure they felt comfortable in the interview setting. Here are some suggestions as to how to do this, based on our experience – many of these would constitute good practice for interviews more generally.


  • Make the interview panel as diverse as possible

For example each of our panels included one member with lived experience of migration to the UK.


  • With online interviews, acknowledge the unusual format

We assured candidates that although we might look distracted at points due to taking notes, we would be listening carefully. 


  • State in the interview preamble that applicants can give examples from their life and education as well as their work to evidence certain skills

We recognised that some people would have gaps in employment, especially since moving to the UK.


  • Make it clear that candidates should take their time before answering, can ask for a question to be repeated, and can skip a question and return to it later in the interview.

We also copied each question into the chat once it had been asked verbally.


  • Make sure interview questions are clear

Avoid complex language, jargon and acronyms.


  • Start with a ‘warm up’ question

This gives applicants the chance to 'settle in' to the interview, explain why they are interested in the role.


  • If you require candidates to complete a task, consider doing this in advance

For the Community Researcher post we asked candidates to complete a task beforehand and present this at the interview. We felt this was fairer than an unseen task which could have increased the pressure and stress experienced at the interview.


Contact us about research

If you have any questions about our research, contact us: