Preparing for Interviews Careers Advice

Well done! You’ve reached the interview stage. You must be good enough to make the employer want to find out more about you. The interview is your chance to sell yourself in person by providing more detail about the information you have provided in your CV or application. An interview is a two way process: you need to find out enough to know this is the right job for you as well as the employer finding out more about you.


How to Succeed at Interview


1. Allow adequate preparation time
Preparation is the key to interview success. So don’t leave things to the night before!


2. Research the employer
You will need to use this knowledge during the interview to demonstrate that you are genuinely motivated and interested. Read the employer’s website.


3. Review the skills the employer is seeking
Look at the job description / person specification again. Create a list of examples you will use if asked at interview to give evidence of your skills. Think about how you could expand on examples given in your application form.


4. Read through your original application form
Can you back up the information you have given with further detail? Think about how to put a positive spin on career gaps, changes in direction, poor exam results, or a lack of work experience, if these are shown in your application.


5. Practice your interview

  • Look at examples of interview questions and prepare answers to them.
  • Practice answering these questions out loud with a friend or in the mirror.
  • If you are worried you might forget your answers then write a few words on a notebook and take it in with you.
  • Remember you need to stand out from the other applicants, so if possible make your evidence part of an interesting and memorable anecdote.


6. Prepare questions to ask the employer
Try to avoid direct questions just related to working hours, holiday and salary. You can discuss these once you have been offered the job. Questions about induction, training or prospects will make you look keen.


7. Decide what to wear
First impressions count, so don’t forget that how you look will make a difference. As a rule of thumb you will be expected to dress smartly for an interview, even when the normal standard of dress in a workplace is more informal.


8. Plan your journey
Plan your journey to ensure that you will arrive in good time. Check out exactly where you are going and issues such as parking, distance from public transport stations. Arriving late or getting lost creates a poor impression and a stressful start to an interview.


9. Create a good impression
When you first arrive is vital as the people that you meet on reception or who show you to the room maybe asked their opinion of you afterwards, so be prepared with small talk prepared.


Useful Interview Links


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