How to Best Prepare for the Kira Talent Prep Interview

As an award-winning interview coach, I’ve mentored hundreds of students through the Kira Talent interview process and I’m proud to say that 93% of my students convert their Kira assessment into an offer.

So, if you’re in need of some expert advice, look no further. Here’s your ultimate guide to best preparing for the Kira Talent interview.

Preparing for a university or job interview? Read on to discover everything you need to know about the Kira Talent interview.

Remember, if you find this guide useful, this is just a pinch of my knowledge. Award-winning professional interview coaches like me can give you the edge you need to secure a life-changing offer!

Contents

  1. Kira Talent interview advice
  2. What Does the Kira Talent interview involve?
  3. What happens in a Kira Talent interview?
  4. What NOT to do in the Kira interview
  5. How to prepare for the Kira Talent interview
  6. Kira Talent interview practice tips
  7. How can an expert interviewer help you?
  8. Kira Talent video assessment
  9. Kira interview questions and answers
  10. Contact Us for Your Kira Talent prep
  11. FAQS
  12. Check out our Kira Talent interview training reviews!

Kira Talent interview advice

Revise for this interview as though it is a written exam.

Most people think they are naturally “good at interviews”. This test, however, is a very unusual interview. In short, you will be sitting in a room, alone, chatting to a blank screen with a clock silently ticking away.

You will be expected to perform at your highest level of positivity and professionalism, whilst under the immense pressure of knowing that your answers will probably determine your future.

Sounds tough, right? Luckily, we’ve compiled hundreds of past assessments and broken them down to give you TOP Kira interview advice so that you can succeed and even enjoy the experience. Read on to learn more!

Oh, and don’t forget, you can reach out to our experienced admissions team for expert advice.

What Does the Kira Talent interview involve?

You are usually given up to 7 days to complete the interview once you’ve been emailed the link. So, keep an eye on your inbox!

Insider Tip: it’s fine to ask for an extra week to give you more time to prepare. Typically candidates will say that they are travelling with poor WiFi when asking for an extension.

First, you will be asked to introduce yourself to the camera. Afterwards, five core competency questions will follow, one of which might be written. Question and preparation time varies but the majority of questions allow you 30 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to answer. Our candidates have reported that, with the most technical questions, this can increase to 60 seconds of preparation time and three minutes to answer, although this is rare.

The questions are randomly assigned. That said, I’ve included a past question bank at the bottom of this guide.

The interview typically lasts 10-15 minutes and you are given the opportunity to practise using the software including re-recording and reviewing a practice question before you start the interview.

However, top candidates will not wait until the interview date to practise. Read on for tips you can start applying today to help you ace Kira Talent’s assessment.

What happens in a Kira Talent interview?

Although each interview is structured slightly differently, below is a typical Kira prep interview as reported by our successful candidates:

  • Practice questions to familiarise yourself with the software
  • 6 questions:
    1. Introduce yourself (60 seconds)
    2. 2 motivation-based questions (90 seconds each with 45-second prep time)
    3. 2 competency questions (60 seconds each with 30-second prep time)
    4. One 250-word written question (5 minutes)

I’ve included real examples from our Kira question bank at the bottom of this guide.

Kira Talent also provides a short video on how their interview is used for university applications which might offer you some further understanding.

What NOT to do in the Kira interview

Here are some quick tips on common mistakes to avoid:

  • Abort: No matter what happens: KEEP GOING. It’s so tempting to panic and completely stop halfway through a poor answer. But you don’t get a redo, so instead take a deep breath and demonstrate to your assessor your perseverance and positivity by carrying on even when you know you haven’t performed your best. Show that you can see the funny side of this, and say ‘sorry, I’ll carry on now..’. This can make you more likeable and memorable than if you don’t make any mistakes (and come across as overly rehearsed or robotic).
  • Look grumpy: Seriously. Bad. First. Impression. Practise smiling before, during, and after answering questions. Facial expressions, positivity, and friendliness can be the difference between success and failure.
  • Read your answers off a screen: The interview is to test your communication skills and charisma. If you awkwardly read off a second screen, you will come across as robotic and fail the test.
  • Memorise your answers: I tell my students to approach this assessment as they would a joke; know the set-up and the punchline, but don’t over-rehearse or it’ll be awkward and flat.
  • Say you are better than other candidates: It always comes across as petty and insecure. Focus solely on why you are a great candidate, even when asked the real past interview question: “Why should we give you a place over others!” This question is a trap to see if you will put others down.
  • Become demoralised after a poor start: I tell my mentees that they only need to smash one of their answers to get in, and for the rest, they just need to avoid aborting any answers. Everyone gives one or two weak answers. The successful candidates don’t allow this to affect the quality of their next question.

How to prepare for the Kira Talent interview

You must be in the right headspace and create the right environment. Below are 6 practical tips on how to best prepare for your Kira Talent interview, created by our expert interviewers.

Practical advice for before the interview:

  • Practise talking to a countdown timer: Next, add a countdown timer. It’s incredibly distracting speaking whilst a timer is ticking down, so this tip will really help you to seem cool and composed when other candidates are panicked. You’ll also be much less likely to run out of time.
  • You need perfect WiFi: You will be rejected if the assessor struggles to hear what you are saying. If your uncle has more reliable WiFi – do the interview there.
  • Prepare your family/friends: Tell your family or housemates the importance of this interview and ask them to leave the house until you message that you have finished. If they are around, you are likely to be self-conscious rather than confident.
  • Prepare your space: Pick a neutral background that is not too distracting (a plain wall is fine. A bookcase might be distracting) Rearrange your room if necessary. Next, set up every lamp and light in your home to shine on your face, or sit in front of a well-lit window. Do not sit with a sunny window behind you or you will look like a CIA operative.
  • Dress to impress: This is an interview. Wear a suit or equivalent. Iron your shirt. Get a haircut. Shave/style your beard. Brush your teeth. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
  • Reset your body language: Before every answer, I have my student root both feet firmly on the floor, roll back their shoulders, look straight into the camera and smile. This is the first impression the assessor will have of you. This is especially important after a poor answer to reset your attitude from negative to positive!

Kira Talent Interview Practice Tips

Below are 15 Kira Talent practise tips to help you during the interview.

  • Understand the format: Familiarise yourself with the general structure of the Kira Talent interview (hint: read this article) e.g. how many questions; how long to answer and how long to prepare; whether there are any written or video components.
  • Practise speaking to a blank screen: The most uncomfortable part of this test is that you will not have anyone to talk to. This is unnatural and off-putting, meaning you are likely to want to restart your answers (you can’t!). Open an application like Zoom and practise talking to it for 60 seconds until it is natural.
  • Prepare 3 USPs (unique selling points) about you: Write down the three most impressive things about you (e.g. high grades, best work experience, awards). This is better than trying to remember too much information.
  • Prepare 2 USPs about the institution: Rather than trying to remember too much information, research just two things you like about the course/company that you can drop into the questions.
  • Have your go-to story: Whilst it may seem that there are hundreds of potential competency questions, skilled candidates can adapt the same story to answer many combinations. What is your greatest achievement? In what situation have you worked in a team? When have you had to have a difficult conversation with a colleague? Be smart in your preparation and tailor a story that can be adapted to answer all of these questions.
  • Prepare a 60-second elevator pitch: You will be asked to introduce yourself to the camera, and you might be asked the tricky ‘why should we give you a place’ or ‘introduce yourself to a fellow student’. Prepare a brief but impactful introduction about yourself, highlighting your top achievements, experiences, and aspirations. Focus on your academic and career achievements, not your favourite hobbies. Imagine you are in an elevator and have just 60 seconds to pitch yourself before the interviewer leaves.
  • Reread your application and CV: Remember the strongest lines – you might be able to repeat some of these in the interview.
  • Practise the first line of your response: in your preparation time, jot down just two points you want to make, and then practise saying the first line in the final 3-5 seconds before you go live. This will set you up correctly; focus your thoughts; and greatly decrease the chances of you stumbling.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Utilise mock interviews to practise answering a variety of questions. We highly recommend working with a professional coach who can offer useful life skills that will help you time and time again.
  • Use the STAR technique: See the below section on competency questions.
  • How you say it is most important: This might surprise you, but in this assessment, how you speak is more important than what you say. It is unlikely that the interviewer will watch the full ten-minute video (they may have hundreds of hours to watch). If you come across as confident and charismatic in the first few seconds of the first two answers, they are likely to accept you and move on to the next video! I advise learning an “offence” and “defence” approach. Decide before each question if this is something you have prepared well, in which case you can fully go for it. For all other questions, go into ‘defence’ mode; simply keep smiling through it and answer it more confidently than the next candidate.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel: Repeat all the best bits of your application and CV. You’ve already worked out your greatest strengths, repeat them. Many candidates think they cannot repeat their application and wind up underselling themselves!
  • 2 points: Don’t try and make more than two points per response. Use your planning time to write down your two points.
  • Bookend your answer: My favourite tip: Start the question by repeating it back “I want to enrol at Harvard because…”. In the final 10 seconds, repeat the question again e.g. “… and that’s why I want to work/study at Harvard”. This avoids running out of time. You don’t want to finish mid-sentence with an awkward facial expression on the screen.
  • Embrace your “um’s” and “ahh’s”: No one notices these except for you. Don’t worry about them. You can even take a short pause after an “um” to make your answer seem considered e.g. “um… this is a really good question because”.

There are many things that you can prepare and rehearse to ace this assessment. We recommend working with our experienced and talented team of Kira Interview experts for a couple of sessions to help you practise putting it all together. Don’t throw away your shot!

How can an expert interviewer help you?

Practice is the key to success in any interview, and the Kira Talent interview is no different. Our network of experienced professional tutors specialises in preparing candidates for this unique interview format. With personalised coaching and tailored practice sessions, you can gain the confidence and skills needed to excel.

In order to maximise your chances of success, you should practise all 6 of the following, whether on your own or with one of our experienced interviewers:

  • First impression targeting: Your interviewer is likely to decide their outcome within the first 10 seconds of your first answer. This is why we drill the perfect first response and train you against making any little mistakes that can cost you your place!
  • Kira-specific past questions: We have spent years amassing hundreds of past Kira interview questions into a question bank, and grouped these into common themes to share with our clients.
  • Recording and reviewing your answers: The best way to prepare is to record your answers in a mock, and then review that recording. Let’s face it, the majority of candidates are not going to watch themselves back and take notes, which is exactly why our tutors do this. Whilst daunting at first, within seconds, it is immediately clear how to improve on your next answer.
  • Customised mock interviews: Practise real Kira Talent questions under simulated interview conditions. Receive constructive feedback to enhance your performance with our tutors.
  • Countdown clock time prep: Talking to a blank screen, with no human feedback is tricky. Talking to a clock as it ticks down is down-right intimidating. That’s exactly why we do it – your interview trainer will turn off their camera and have you practise talking to a ticking clock again and again until it’s second nature.
  • Feedback on communication skills: Improve your articulation, tone, and body language to make sure that you come across as professional and positive throughout.

Want to take the stress out of your interview prep? In just a couple of quick sessions, we can double your chances of success. So, contact us today to get started. University admissions are our thing!

Kira Talent video assessment

In some cases, the Kira Talent interview might include a separate video assessment component. During this segment, you’ll be presented with prompts and asked to record video responses. Our tutors will help you prepare for this specific aspect, ensuring you can confidently address the prompts while showcasing your personality, skills and experiences.

Kira interview questions and answers:

How to prepare for Kira written questions

The trick to this type of question is to write a first draft of your answer as quickly as possible and then go back and edit it. Don’t be shy as it’s easier to go back and improve something bad than it is to think of what to write in the first place.

You can get through the first draft quickly by filling in any details with placeholders. If asked to write to your hypothetical boss to rearrange a meeting, make up any name and begin “Dear Sam,” rather than worrying about how to address an imaginary person. Use the same principle to create a reason for the meeting e.g. “I wanted to follow up with you about those action points we agreed on, as a timetable clash prevented our previous meeting.”

Lastly, 4 sentences are usually more than enough. The answer may say up to 500 words, but you can safely ignore the maximum limit. It’s not a speed typing test – they just want to know that you can write in a professional manner.

How to prepare for competency questions

Successful candidates will have just one or two well-rehearsed stories that they can adapt to answer most questions e.g. Can you tell us about a time you faced a challenging situation? What are you most proud of? Was there a time when you overcame setbacks to a goal?

Think of your greatest work achievement and practice telling different versions of this story that can answer all of these questions.

Secondly, use the STAR technique:

In one line (no more) describe the Situation. In one line (no more) describe the Task. Then explain the Action you took that makes you the hero of that story and finish by telling the Result that was achieved. Most people run out of time describing the setup, but it is the action and result that should be 80% of your 60-90 second answer.

How to prepare for motivation questions

These questions should be prepared fully in advance. You can expect to be asked “what interests you in this opportunity” and should have a confident and succinct answer.

Equally, you are likely to be asked about your short-term and long-term goals so this should be prepared in advance.

How to prepare for any technical questions

You are unlikely to be asked any truly technical questions, but there might well be one opportunity to demonstrate a wider understanding of your field. For example, for finance and management courses and jobs, you can expect a slightly longer 90-120 second answer to a broad question such as: “what is the impact on businesses of the recent recession”.

Take your time to prepare to make just two points, and bring in any understanding or reading you have to get through this question.

Kira Interview Question and Answer Bank

Below is a small sample of our question-and-answer bank of hundreds of real Kira Talent interview questions provided by our successful applicants:

Introduction Questions

  • Introduce yourself to a fellow student/college.
  • Please state why we should give you a seat.

Suggested Answer:

Briefly go through your CV highlights and avoid criticising other candidates:

“Hi I’m Richard and after receiving a First at LSE, I went on to work at X, before being promoted to Y. During this time I achieved A, B, C and have developed a passion for Z, which is why I’m excited about this opportunity. Outside of work, I have a passion for .”

Motivation Questions

  • Why are you applying to? <institution/course>
  • What are your goals, and what are you doing to achieve them?
  • What kind of skills do you want to learn here?

Suggested Answer:

This should be prepared in advance with clear evidence (specifics) and research into your career plan, and the institution you are applying for. Remember to book-end your answer!

I am applying for this role/course because it aligns excellently with my long-term goal of becoming a partner at a financial institution, such as X. To best prepare for this ambitious goal, I have completed Y and achieved <75%> and amassed two years of experience at Z which taught me the importance of X.

I am excited to develop my core financial literacy skills and learn Python as part of this programme, and to help the team achieve their goals. That is why I am applying for this opportunity.”

Core Competency / Personal Experience Questions:

  • Give us a time when you worked towards a goal.
  • When working in a team, how do you put forward a point that others disagree with?
  • Tell me about a time when you had many tasks you had to work on at the same time. How did you work out what to prioritise?
  • Tell us about a person or an event that has been influential in your personal development.

Suggested Answer:

For most questions, you can use one story which you can adapt accordingly. Use the STAR technique, and get to the Action in two lines.

“I once had to deal with conflict during my internship at Goldman Sachs last summer. I was given just 2 hours to help prepare tens of graphs for an important pitch. Although my manager initially disagreed with my approach – thinking I was spending too long planning when I should be jumping straight into Excel – I managed to persuade him to give me a chance by suggesting I show him in 15 minutes what I had prepared using my method.

By keeping a cool head under pressure, I returned with an alternative plan: that we create just two key graphs that conveyed everything we needed and shorten the pitch, allowing more time to practise the delivery. My strategy was adopted and rather than rushing, the presenters had a full 30 minutes to practise their delivery. We won the multi-million dollar contract; I was offered a full-time position off the back of my innovation and ability to think and work under pressure.”

Written Questions

  • You’re going to have coffee with an executive at your company but he/she cancels on the day, write an email.
  • Tell me about a time when your actions negatively impacted the people around you and how you felt. What did you do in order to improve the situation? (100-200 words)
  • In 100 words (min) to 250 (max) words, write about a time you felt you were unfairly judged by a teacher or mentor. How did you feel and what did you do?

Suggested Answer:

People often worry too much and overcomplicate this question! Aim to write just four lines – even if it’s below the suggested word count. Write the first draft as quickly as possible (allow it to be bad) and then edit it to make it stronger. Make up the details.

“Dear Jane,
I hope this email finds you well and that everything is OK following the crisis meeting.
I would like to reschedule our coffee as I am keen to update you on those action points we discussed in our last meeting. I can be flexible to suit your timetable, although mornings before 11 am, lunch times and anytime after 4 pm is ideal.
Kind Regards,
Richard”

Other Questions

There are other types of questions that sometimes come up such as industry-specific ‘technical questions’: “What impact will AI have in a business sector of your choice” or questions that are oddly hard to think up on the spot: “What is the best book you have read and why?”. For a full question bank and hundreds more tips, and suggested answers, contact our team today!

Check out our previous blogs on the university admission interview process:

Contact Us for Your Kira Talent Prep

Want a competitive edge in your interview? Allow us to help you. University admissions, including the interview process, are our forte!

Don’t leave your interview performance to chance, contact us today to unlock the support, guidance, and personalised coaching that will give you the edge you need to SMASH your Kira Talent interview. Quit dreaming of that course or university and make it a reality.

FAQs

Can I retake the Kira Talent interview?

No, there is no way to retake the interview if you are unhappy with your performance. That is why we recommend you complete at least two mocks before you sit the real test. If you experience a catastrophic issue such as a complete loss of WiFi, we recommend that you email (on your phone) and call your institution immediately.

Can Kira see other tabs?

No, Kira Talent does not have access to your other tabs or browser activity. It operates within a secure environment focused solely on the interview process. However, it will be both obvious and unnatural if you are looking at other screens or tabs rather than the camera, so this is best avoided.

Does Kira Talent screen record?

No, Kira Talent accesses your camera during the interview but not your screen. For any written questions, you will be provided with a text box.

How does Kira Talent work?

Kira Talent is an online interview platform that you will log in to. This is a pre-recorded interview, meaning you will not speak to another human. Instead, you will be asked questions and your verbal answers will be recorded using your webcam under timed conditions. Often there is also one short (5 minute) written question.

How long does it take for Kira interview to give your result?

Your answers will be watched by an assessor. The timeline can vary depending on the institution or company, but typically, you can expect to receive your result within 1-4 weeks. Some universities, including London Business School and Imperial College, have rounds with set deadlines for interview decisions.

What are some Kira Talent interview challenges?

The main challenge of this test is to remain natural under considerable time pressure, and in an awkward and uncomfortable situation (you’ll be talking to a black screen, with a clock ticking down).

How long is a Kira Talent interview?

Typically the test takes 10-15 minutes, although it is recommended that you leave up to 30 minutes to allow for practice questions, which are the only questions that you can retake, and to check that your sound and camera are OK.

What is Kira Talent interview?

The Kira Talent interview is an innovative assessment format used for higher education by universities and organisations. It involves responding to a series of timed questions through videos and written answers, showcasing your abilities and personality.

How do I prepare for Kira interviews?

To prepare for Kira interviews, research the institution’s values, practise concise responses, and work on time management. Consider seeking guidance from experts who specialise in Kira interview preparation.

What if English is not my first language?

As with any interview, your ability to communicate is important. However, the majority of students at UK institutions on postgraduate programmes are not native English speakers. You will need strong enough English to communicate your greatest achievements; demonstrate your research of the course; and show positivity to learn.

Universities are likely to understand minor spelling and grammar mistakes if English is not your first language, as long as you demonstrate that you meet or are close to the standard of their English language requirements, as well as the level of English demonstrated in your written application.

Which universities Use Kira Talent?

Kira Talent is widely adopted by top-tier universities and organisations around the world. Some universities that use Kira Talent for their undergraduate and/or postgraduate admissions process include:

The US:

The UK:

The rest of World:

This list is not exhaustive, and more and more institutions use Kira Talent each year.

Check out our Kira Talent interview training reviews!

“It was an amazing journey with Richard and I have received my top 1 dream offer (LBS) with a scholarship! The lessons from Richard are extremely useful, not only for the applications, but also for lifelong useful techniques. For example, how to write an attractive CV, how to prepare for interviews and even how to structure your career path clearly. I appreciate these lessons from him and will make use of them in the future! Thanks to Richard and the Profs team! Will definitely try to make a visit when I start my program in London!”

(Alice, 2023 – secured an offer to London Business School)

You can also look us up on Trustpilot. If you want to smash your Kira Talent interview, we’re here to help you. Just give us a shout. If this university/course is your dream, give it your all.