interview tips

Some tips to take with you on your next interview.

before the interview

Interviews require much research and planning. Generally, you should do the following when preparing for interview.

  • anticipate potential questions and prepare answers accordingly;
  • consider how you’ll explain problematic aspects of your CV, such as leaving an employer;
  • contact your references, alerting them that you’ll be interviewing and that they may receive a call;
  • fully understand the role that you’re applying for by revisiting the job description, identifying what skills, interests and experiences the employer is looking for;
  • prepare questions to ask the interviewer;
  • read the organisation’s website, social media profiles and key literature – ensuring that you’re prepared to share your views and ideas;
  • review your CV and application form.

Choose your outfit the night before, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption. Plan your journey, aiming to arrive ten minutes early.Completing a ‘dry run’, if possible, also combats nerves. On the day, eat a good, healthy breakfast and avoid too much caffeine.

how to make a good impression
Generally, you should:

  • answer questions clearly and concisely;
  • ask relevant, thought-provoking questions at appropriate moments, as this can show that you’re genuinely interested in the role and really listening to the interviewer;
  • avoid talking about any personal problems, where possible, if it is not related to job performance;
  • be as enthusiastic as possible;
  • be well-mannered with any staff that you meet before the interview;
  • display positive body language, speaking clearly, smiling frequently and retaining eye-contact;
  • don’t badmouth any previous employers;
  • give a firm handshake to your interviewer(s) before and after;
  • highlight your best attributes, experiences and achievements, based around the skills that you’ve identified as important to the organisation, and evidencing them with practical examples;
  • inform your interviewer(s) that you’re available to answer any follow-up questions;
  • let your personality shine;
  • relax and sit naturally, but without slouching in your chair or leaning on the desk;
  • show your hands, as this is a sign of honesty;
  • wear smart business attire with comfortable, polished shoes.
what to take
Your interview invitation should detail everything that you need, but generally you should take:

  • a bottle of water;
  • an A-Z street map, or at least the postcode of the organisation so that you can search Google Maps on your mobile phone;
  • details of the person that you must ask for upon arrival;
  • exam certificates, examples of your work, and any further evidence of your past successes;
  • money;
  • pen and notepad;
  • photo ID (e.g. passport or driving licence);
  • the job description and person specification;
  • your CV, letter of application and interview invitation;
  • your mobile phone, if necessary.