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Preparing for an interview

 Quick Summary

Whether you are going to your first job interview or your tenth, you need to be prepared. You may only have a short time during an interview to prove that you are the best person for the job. Remember, from the first time an employer makes contact with you, you are being interviewed. Every contact counts.

You can choose to:


What does being prepared mean?

1. Do your research about the employer and the job. You would have done this to write your application.

2. Sort out your clothes. You can pick up decent clothes at a low price in many places these days. Aim to look smart casual. You are showing the employer that you can represent them.

3. It is good to practice saying the important points you want to make in your interview. Highlight these in your application and say these a few times.

4. Practice saying how your skills, abilities and experiences will enable you to do the job. Be ready to give examples.

5. Make sure you are organised and arrive at the interview 10 minutes early to relax and focus.

6. Always have at least one question to ask when at the interview they say, “is there anything you’d like to ask?”
This is your chance to learn more about “the doing of the job”.

7. Remind yourself before the interview that it is okay to ask people to repeat questions if you’re not sure about their meaning or you forget one part of a question. You can also ask to come back to a question that you believe you have not fully answered. However, it will be up to you to remember to do this if they say yes.

8. Always have a spare copy of your application, CV, certificates of training/education, and referees contact details.

Preparing – things not to do:
Don’t panic, if you are unsure of something about the company, ask someone for advice.
Don’t lie about your skills and experience.
Don’t have inappropriate photos and messages on your social media.
Don’t ask how much you’ll get paid.
Don’t have a funny voice mail message or email address.
Don’t arrive late for interview.

Preparing – things to do:
Do your homework on the company, what are they trying to achieve? What do they value? Where are they? What interests you about working for them?
Do spend some time preparing for your interview and preparing for questions you may get.
Do know the address of the interview and how to get there.
Do look and smell nice.
Do make sure to be very polite at every contact you have with people at the company.


Prepare. If you have an interview, congratulations, this means the company is interested in you. Be serious about showing them the very best of you.

You can do this by preparing and thinking about,
how you will present yourself. What do you think your social media or phone voice mail message says about you to someone you don’t know?

Prepare your best outfit and shower or bath and smell clean on the day. This will show that you value yourself and those you will be meeting.

How you will transport yourself to the interview on time?
Find out the address you are being interviewed at well before the day. If you do not know the area, walk or drive by a few days before the interview. If you are using public transport; book a taxi or catch a bus early. If you are driving a car, think about traffic at that time of day and know if there is parking close by. If you are being interviewed by video conferencing, make sure that your internet connection is strong, and your computer or phone microphone and camera are working. Test everything well before your interview.

Preparing will save you from feeling rushed and anxious on the day.

Plan to arrive at the interview address 15 minutes early and take some time to calm down before you meet people.

Practise calming yourself down by concentrating on your breathing. Try this exercise. Take a deep breath in for the count of 4. Hold this breath for a count of 4, and then breathe out slowly for a count of 6. Do this 5 times, concentrating only on your breath. This should prepare you on the day to feel a bit more relaxed, and stop your mind from racing.

TIP: It is likely that the people interviewing you will feel a bit nervous to. If you seem calm, your interview may be more relaxed.

Remember to make a spare copy of your application; resume, certificates of training/education, and referees contact details, to take to your interview.

Try a practice interview on the UK job central website.


Here you can find a simple list of the best actions to take if you are interested in this topic:

1 . Do your homework on the company that you are applying to work for, so that you can show that you know more about them than they know about you.

2 . Make sure you know where your interview will be held and how you will get there.

3 . Think of answers to imaginary interview questions. Practise speaking your answers out loud with a friend. Think of a question or two that you will ask.

4 . Look smart and smell clean for your interview. Don't put on too much perfume or aftershave.

5 . Arrive early and turn your phone off.

6 . Be polite at all times and to everyone you are in contact with from the company.

7 . Remember, when you are ready to go into the interview, to keep breathing, this will help you to pace yourself when you speak and mean you will think more clearly.

8 . Stand tall as you walk in (if you are physically able to) to the interview, smile and make eye contact with those who will interview you as you shake their hands and introduce yourself. This will show that you are confident.

9 . Speak clearly, don’t rush or speak over anyone.

10 . Listen to the questions carefully and give yourself some time to think and answer.