Careers Service


What are research skills?

Research skills encompass the abilities of identifying data sources, gathering information and investigating the facts, based upon agreed objectives and following a clear methodology.

Application form and interview questions

Some examples of application form and interview questions which are designed to test research skills:

  • Give me an example of when you have had to research a new topic. How did you approach this, and what obstacles did you need to overcome?
  • How have research methods changed in the light of technical innovations?
  • Tell me what you know about our organisation and our key competitors?
  • What is the key to effective research?

If you are unsure how to structure an answer for either application or interview questions, visit the application and interviews section of our website and find out about the CAR (context, action, result) and STAR (situation, task, action, result) models. Our recommendations are based on feedback from employers.

Activities where you could develop research skills

The following activities, which may be undertaken as part of or alongside your studies, can be good ways to develop your research skills:

  • Careers Fairs and Presentations Talk directly with recruiters to find out about opportunities and learn more about a particular career or organisation. Check CareersLink for forthcoming events.
  • My Learning Essentials workshops and resources
  • Manchester Leadership Programme This academic module is open to most undergraduate students at Manchester.
  • Project work Opportunities may exist on your course to complete a team project for an organisation or individual.
Laptop with a set of books on screen and a hand taking a book from the screen