Preparation is absolutely critical before any job interview. Without preparation, you will come across as lacking in confidence or worse still, arrogant.

Coming across well in your interview is essential if you wish to land the job and first impressions are a huge determinant in how people will feel about you. According to research, 90% of opinions about you are made within the first four minutes of meeting you, so it’s vital that you make a strong first impression.

Always dress professionally. Even if the role is for a company that is known to dress casually, you must still dress professionally. Avoid jeans and anything too short or revealing. Keep your jewellery and makeup to a minimum. Bring a pen and notebook, as well as some copies of your CV and some copies of your previous work if applicable.

Remember, your interview starts from the moment you arrive at the interview’s premises. Arrive in good time for the interview – not too early and not too late. 10 – 15 minutes is a good indicator as arriving too early can actually give a poor first impression.

Always smile and shake the hand of your interviewer and anybody else you meet within those first moments. Maintain eye contact and greet your interviewer by name.

Specific interview preparation tips

  • Be sure to establish the exact location of the interview and make sure that parking is easily available.
  • What is your interviewer’s full name and title? Make sure you can pronounce it. 
  • Research the company’s website in full before attending the interview. Perform some background research about the company including its history, product offering and competitors.
  • Find out as much as possible about your interviewer, their background, accomplishments and interests. Also, learn about other members of the company, such as its directors.
  • Prepare some questions to ask during the interview. Although you are being assessed by your interviewer, this is also your opportunity to establish whether or not the position is right for you as every job interview is a two-way street.

Interview Tips

  • Before you arrive at the interview switch your mobile phone off.
  • Arrive in good time (no earlier than 15 minutes and never late).
  • Smile, shake hands and be polite. 
  • Wait to be offered a seat before sitting down. Whilst seated, sit upright with an open, interested body language. Avoid fidgeting in your chair or messing around with your hair/face. Demonstrate with your body language that you are interested.
  • Maintain eye contact with your interviewer.
  • During your interview you will be examined on a number of factors including your strengths and weaknesses as well as your personality. This includes your attitude, personal abilities, level of maturity and motivation.  Try to let your personality shine through – remember you are also being assessed on your interpersonal skills as the interviewers need to see how well you will fit in with the company and its staff.
  • Listen carefully to your interviewer and respond to all answers succinctly, factually and with confidence. Avoid answering questions with just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Always back up your answers.
  • Keep your answers relatable to the position on offer.
  • Never talk negatively about a previous employment experience or a previous employer/colleague