How to Prepare for an Interview

Interviews are often the scariest part of the job-hunting process. The skills and achievements you listed on your CV got you shortlisted but now you’ve got to make a good impression in person.

Waiting In Line for an Interview

Don’t let that worry you, though. By inviting you to interview, the employer is giving you a positive sign that they think you’re good enough for the role. You should be feeling confident, not nervous, because you’re already halfway there.

The best way to put in a good performance at your interview is to make sure that you’re prepared. If you are, you’ll feel much more relaxed and be able to respond much better to the questions that you’re asked.

You should prepare for all of the practical aspects of your interview – considerations like knowing how long it will take you to get there and what to wear – as well as for the interview questions. If you’ve got these under control, you’ll be able to focus on putting your best foot forward.

Now take a deep breath, relax, and follow these handy tips:

Before the interview

  • Check the location
    Make sure you know exactly where the interview is going to be held and how you are going to get there. Online maps can help with timings and Street View gives you a snapshot of the area as well.
  • Practice
    Nothing prepares you an important interview like other interviews, so think carefully before turning any down. Even if it turns out not to be the job for you, it’ll help keep you sharp for when the right one comes along. This is particularly useful if it’s a long time since you last had an interview. This doesn’t mean there’s not lots of useful preparation you can do beforehand, though: getting a friend or colleague to interview you can be really helpful as a way of building confidence and working out answers to difficult questions.
  • Prepare your interview questions
    There are some standard questions you can prepare for, such as knowing your strengths and weaknesses, but if you want to set yourself apart from the competition you also need to research the company and your role. Think about the challenges you might face in the job and how you would cope with them. Try to demonstrate your knowledge of the company and what you would bring to the role. The best way to do this is to have some questions of your own, here are 5 questions to ask an interviewer

On the day of the interview

  • Be on time
    Arrive 10-15 minutes early. If you get there right on the dot, you’ll feel rushed but if you’re too early, you’ll have time to sit and get nervous.
  • Dress appropriately
    Although some people feel you should always wear a suit for interviews, it depends on the culture of the company. You always want to look smart but if, for example, you’re applying for a designer’s job at a web agency, you don’t want to appear too formal. Here’s our guide to dressing for success.
  • Smile
    Smiling makes you appear friendly but don’t overdo it or you’ll look like you’re not taking things seriously.
  • Listen
    Although you’re there to talk about yourself, it’s important to listen carefully to what is said to you. You won’t score any points for answering a question the interviewer hasn’t asked.
  • Relax
    We know this is easier said than done but remember that you were good enough to get the interview, so you’re good enough to get the job. If you’re struggling to de-stress, follow these ten tips for a relaxed interview.
Hopefully congratulations will shortly be in order! Why not register and set up a jobs by email to keep informed of the next step in your career path?

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