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Preparing for an Interview

  • Publish Date: Posted over 3 years ago
  • Author: Dean Bartle

​ Our Top 10 Tips when preparing for an Interview :

 1. First Impressions :

You get one chance here, make sure you get off to the best start possible. Arrive with plenty of time to spare, be polite from the moment you get there and with whoever you meet, from the car park to reception! Make eye contact, a firm handshake ( if appropriate ) and smile, its all basics, but it makes a massive difference!

2. Do Your Prep :

Massively important, and it cant be stressed enough. This can make or break the interview and if you want the job why wouldn’t you got the extra mile here and take the time to prepare well ! It can often be the easiest way to impress and get ahead of any other candidates they may be seeing. Take the opportunity and do more than just look at the company website, look at the companies social feeds, look at the news section of their website, Google them and check our Glassdoor.

Who are their competitors, what markets do they operate in? Also make sure you prepare for your journey, how are you getting there. Make sure you make allowances for the time of day you will be travelling, public transport, weather or car parking issues. Make sure you plan to take into consideration something might delay you, give yourself the extra time so you don’t arrive at the interview flustered!

3. Make sure you know what the job is you are being interviewed for!

Read the role profile if there is one and know as much as you can about the job you are getting interviewed for. Have examples of relevant experience career to date that matches the requirements of the role. Prep beforehand and make sure you can talk through examples of relevant things you have been involved with and always try to show what "you" did, so use “I” wherever you can rather than “we” or “they”.

4. Know what's on your CV :

Make sure you are 100% aware of what's on there and know it from start to finish. Don’t be caught out by a question on a specific detail of your CV that you cant then bring to life, from your education, interests and hobbies, to the specifics of roles or jobs you have held.

5. Prepare for the common interview Questions :

Its really easy not to do this, so think what are some of the most common questions that could be asked:

  • Tell us why you are interested in this opportunity or business?

  • What do you know about us?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • What's the biggest challenge you have faced?

  • Why do you want to leave your current role?

  • What questions do you have for us?

Re this last point, always make sure you have some, show you have listened during the interview and ask a question based on what you have heard. Even if they have answered the ones you had prepared during the interview, think of enough beforehand so it means they wont all have been covered. Finally make sure you actually answer the question they have asked, if you aren’t sure don't be afraid to ask for more details or for them to repeat the question . It's also advisable to check out the interviewers on LinkedIn and know more about them and how long they have been with the business and what is their experience etc.

6. How to present yourself :

The key here is to, not talk too much, answer questions in detail but don’t waffle on. Try be to the point but strike the balance between too much and too little. Be pleasant and friendly, but not too over familiar and don’t use slang or inappropriate language that references age or sex for instance. Also make sure you listen when appropriate! Observe your interviewer and try match their style and pace, but do try to show enthusiasm and energy.

7. Think about what you plan to wear :

Dress for the job or company. Its not as straight forward as it once was. The “interview” suit still has a part to play and can often be the safer option. If you choose to dress less formal, make sure you are well groomed and have done your research on the company culture and what might be expected. Ask the question if you are not sure and obviously speak to the person representing you if its through a Recruitment Consultancy. It may be for some roles in certain organisations that a dress down policy is more expected and the “norm” – more creative roles within an agency environment or roles within the “dev” or “tech” arena for example, but don’t leave it to chance and find out for sure.

8. Don’t appear desperate !

Show you want the job through your enthusiasm, engagement and your questions, but don’t take the “ please, please can I have the job” approach. Staying cool is the best approach!

9. Prepare to discuss salary :

Prepare for the Salary Question but we would advise not to bring it up yourself. Always prepare for the “what salary are you looking for question” A lot of times it wont be asked, but you don’t want to be caught off guard and just blurt out a figure that can often be too high, or ultimately when you come out of the interview, on reflection too low. You can often be held to what you say, and changing your mind after can sometimes take some unpicking and be seen as uncommercial.

10 : Finally, try to enjoy it!

That might seem a strange thing to say, but ultimately all interviews are learning processes and you gain more experience every time and interviews can sometimes be just that, the more you do of them the better you get! So if you don’t get the role or a 2nd interview, try not to let it get you down, learn from it, move on and next time hopefully you will do better.

Video Interviews :

Over the last 12 months, video interviews have become a lot more common/the norm for obvious reasons. Most of the above "tips" still apply in terms or preparation, but below we have noted a few more pointers to consider when you are preparing for an interview by video.

 1. Ask about the format, think about your set up, are you happy with the format, the tech and location you will be having the interview. Think about what's behind you and make sure you aren’t going to be disturbed!

2. Find a good camera angle with plenty of light and use a decent microphone if you can get one.

3. Look professional. ...a video format interview still requires you to think about what you are wearing and make an effort!

4. Make eye contact, look at the camera and use the same sort of eye contact you would do in a face to face setting.

5. Don't do anything else while interviewing. Who else is going to be in the house, make them aware you don't want to be disturbed. Thing of where any pets are, dogs or cats for instance. Turn the TV off, and be mindful of any deliveries that are due - anything that ultimately might distract you!

6. Hold a mock interview, and be comfortable in your surroundings.

7. Everything else remains the same so refer to the top and do your research!


Good luck!