Interview preparation tips
The interview process is designed to challenge you, to assess your skills, experience and enthusiasm for a role. Because of this, it is a nerve-wracking experience for most candidates, so it pays to be prepared.
Calm your interview nerves with our advice on the best ways to prepare for an interview, tips on interview technique, and help with phone and video interviews.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Have a good breakfast on the morning of your interview – brain food!
Plan and/or practice your journey.
Aim to arrive 15-20 minutes before the interview.
Researching the company, using their website and social media channels is key. The more you know, and the more up to date and relevant the information is, the better. Make sure you know exactly what the company is looking for in a candidate, ensuring you are able to explain why you are a great fit for the role. It’s also a good idea to research the interviewer to find out what position hold so you know their perspective on the role.
TOP TIP: LinkedIn is a great tool to use for research on both the company and interviewer.
Research suggests that your opinion of a person is formed within the first 10-30 seconds of meeting them. To make sure you make a good first impression ensure you dress appropriately and be aware of your body language. If in doubt, wear a smart suit – it is always better to be too smart than too casual.
TOP TIP: Take a notebook a pen into the interview with you, this will again show that you are prepared and forward thinking.
It’s very important to ask questions when given the opportunity as it demonstrates your interest in the business and helps you engage with the interviewer. Examples of good questions to ask could be:
Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
What plans do you have for the business?
What projects are coming up soon?
What do you like best about working for this company?
What are the next steps in the interview process?
COVID-19 is affecting the way businesses recruit new candidates. While a small number of business are still holding face-to-face interviews, the majority of organisations are unlikely to do so until the current social distancing restrictions come to an end. Because of this, it's now more important than ever to make sure that your telephone and video interview skills are up to scratch.
Research the format: it's vital that you know in advance what format the video interview will take, live or pre-recorded. Live interviews are similar to a regular face-to-face interview. You'll speak to the interviewer/s in real-time over a video connection. Live videos enable employers to recreate the traditional interview format without requiring the candidate to travel to their office, meaning they can recruit from anywhere in world. Try to treat the conversation as you would an interview at the employer's offices and build a rapport with the interviewer. Pre-recorded interviews are a much less personal experience as you won't be speaking to a real person. You'll be presented with pre-recorded or even written questions on screen, and then you'll have to record your answer on video, often to a time limit. This helps employers who have lots of candidates, as they can simply watch your answers later at a time that suits them - but it can be awkward if you aren't used to recording yourself. This makes practice even more important. On the plus side, you will be able to do the interview at a time of your choosing up to a set deadline.
Dress and location: you may be at home but it's still a job interview and this is your opportunity to give a professional first impression - this means dressing appropriately. Plan well in advance where you're going to do the video interview. Use a quiet location, where you won't be disturbed by noises and people. Make sure the room you choose is tidy and use a clean and simple background so that the interviewer focuses on you.
Test the tech: A few days before the interview you should test the computer, camera and any software that you've been asked to use. Make sure the picture is clear and the sound quality is good. It's also worth checking your internet connection. On the day of the video interview ensure everything is fully charged or plugged in as you don't want the battery to run down.
It’s our job to get you to the next step.