So, you’ve secured yourself an interview for that job you’ve been after!  This is great news.

While it’s completely normal to feel nervous, it’s essential that you are as prepared as possible.

A recent study revealed that over 80% of candidates do little or no preparation before an interview. While it’s your choice, you’re far more likely to be successful if you do everything possible to better your chances.

By following the advice below, you will be much more confident and comfortable, and have an overall more positive interview experience, which will hopefully be the key to your successful job offer…

Before the interview:

Research the firm.

Check out their company website and all their social channels. This will not only tell you exactly what the company does but also give you a much greater insight into the company culture and their values. You may also wish to conduct a wider search on the company’s specialist areas and sector to get the bigger picture of the industry.

Plan your journey.

If you have never visited the business or area before, try a ‘practice run’ so that you are confident when travelling there on the day of the interview. Google Maps or apps like ‘CityMapper’ can you help you find the best car route or which public transport to take.

Know your CV

Know your CV inside out. Be ready to expand on any previous educational and career decisions you have made. Be confident about talking about your key achievements and giving examples of where you have demonstrated your key skills.

Prepare some questions and answers.

  • Take time to consider questions you might be asked and practice your responses.
  • Prepare a brief career overview in response to that popular kick-off question ‘tell me something about yourself’.
  • Be ready with plenty of examples to illustrate your skills and how you could contribute to the company.
  • Think about questions you would like to ask. Those which invite thought and comment are more memorable to the interviewer than those that request specific detail. This is also an excellent opportunity to illustrate your understanding of the firm.

Research the interview process and interviewer

Find out as much as you can about the format of the interview process. Use websites such as and other online forums to find out what previous candidates have been asked and how they found the hiring process. Use social media to find out as much about the interviewer as possible, too.

Your recruitment consultant can also help with this as they should have a close relationship with the employer and know exactly what the company are looking for in a candidate. They will be able to tell you what to expect on the day.

You should aim to find out the following:

  • How many interviews will there be? Will they be face to face, telephone or video interviews? (Here’s a useful guide on the do’s and don’ts of video interviewing.)
  • What type of questions will you be asked?
  • Does the firm carry out psychometric testing? Here’s our full guide for success in both aptitude psychometric tests and personality tests.
  • Who will be conducting the interviews? What is their position at the company?
  • What are their interests? You might find out some additional information on your interviewer that could be used as an ice breaker or a talking point on the day.

At the interview:

  • Take your notes! You can be reading over them en-route to your interview and if you get caught out or lost for words it’s fine to ask the interviewer if you can quickly refer to your notes.
  • Be confident. Don’t worry, everyone is expected to be a little nervous on interview day but just smile, take a deep breath and talk slowly.
  • Be aware of your body language. Sit up straight and always face your body towards the interviewer, making eye contact as much as possible. (For more handy hints on how to behave during your interview see 9 Psychological Tips to Crack Your Job Interview.)

After the interview:

So, you’ve finished the interview for your dream job and, fingers crossed, it went well! While you don’t want to pester the interviewer, you do want to stay on their radar so a follow-up email is recommended. Here’ the right way to do it:

  • Thank the interviewer for their time.
  • Reiterate your enthusiasm for the role and why you’re suited.
  • Keep it brief, friendly and casual.
  • Add anything significant that you may have forgotten to say at interview.


Would you like some more advice on your job search and how to be successful at interview? Get in touch with our experts on 0161 825 0825, we’re here to help.