How to approach an interview
What do I need to do before my interview?
Research the nature of the role, the company and the marketplace they operate in. Being in interviews where you know nothing about the company makes interviews a stressful experience. Use Google or ask other people. The interviewer will know you’ve done your research and you are more likely to be remembered. Think about common questions that could be asked, take a look at our Frequently Asked Interview Questions page to see what you may be asked.
What should I wear?
First impressions are important. That doesn’t mean you have to wear a suit, but it does mean you have to think about what would be appropriate. Be smart and look good. Make sure you have a watch and plan your route beforehand, because turning up late for an interview is rude and disrespectful. Make sure you arrive at least 10 minutes before the interview so you are relaxed and not worried about being late.
What should I take to my interview?
Invitation Letter/email: This can be shown at reception when you arrive but also you can use as a reference for the interviewer’s name or company address.
Job Description: You can read this for any last minute preparation whilst travelling or also you can use it as a reference point if you lose your train of thought.
Your CV: Take a couple of copies of your CV with you. You can use it to talk about yourself and previous experience. Your personal details will be on there, so if they ask for your mobile/email you won’t have to remember it.
Bottle of water: Most interviewers will offer you a drink on arrival but just in case they don’t, take a bottle of water with you. There is nothing worse than being half way through a sentence and your throat drying up.
Notepad: Take a notepad with you so you can jot down any information whilst it’s fresh in your mind. This can also be used to write down any questions you have for the interviewer or any key points you wanted to discuss.
Record of your achievements: Take a small file with you that has your previous achievements in. These can include awards, letters of commendation, certificates and testimonials. This will impress the employer and show why you are the best candidate for the role.
What do I do in my interview?
Relate your experience, your achievements, and your skills back to those that are asked for. Think about the job specification, what they’re asking for and how you are the perfect candidate. Remember, it’s not a race, it’s ok to say, ‘let me think about that, please’ before answering a question. It’s better to do that than stumble on your words. Don’t be afraid to smile, don’t be afraid to nod and agree with what the employer is saying. Turn your phone off! Ask questions when the employer has finished. This is where you can show off your research. Prove you know what you’re talking about; it should be about the role and the company. Don’t ask questions like, ‘How many holidays do I get?’ or, ‘Do I get a bonus?’