Interviews are opportunities to show your skills to the recruiter. Preparation is key.

Before the interview, research the company. What does the website or social media say about the business’s activity, values and history? Who are the senior people? This can give you insights into their priorities, what they want from potential employees and why they are hiring. Read the job advertisement again and think about what it says about the business, the role, and the candidate they want.

Rehearse interview questions

Some of the most common are:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why are you interested in working for us?
  • Why are you looking for a new job?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What are your salary expectations?

Think about any specific questions that are likely to come up about your role or profession. It can help to practise with a friend.

Prepare your own questions

Interviewers will always ask if you have any questions. Think of things you want to know about the company or job. You want to show that you’ve thought seriously about the role. 

Plan your journey

Look up the route and allow extra time in case of delays. Aim to arrive 15 minutes early. Bring any documents you may need, such as proof of identity, copies of your CV and qualifications.

First impressions count 

Be friendly and polite to everyone you meet, from the moment you arrive.

During the interview

Listen carefully. It helps you to understand how to answer the interviewer’s questions and demonstrates you are a good communicator. It also helps you to judge whether this is the right opportunity for you. If you aren’t sure about a question, it’s OK to ask for clarification.

Body language 

Be aware of your appearance.

  • Sit and stand up straight
  • Maintain regular eye contact
  • Smile
  • Don’t fidget
  • Don’t cross your arms — it creates a barrier.

Take your time

It’s tempting to speak quickly when you are nervous. Slow down. You can take a minute or two to think before you respond to questions, you don’t have to rush.

If the interviewer asks a question that needs an in-depth answer, such as “tell me about a time you overcame a problem at work” use the SOAR method to organise your thoughts.

S – Situation. Where were you and what was happening?

O – Obstacle. What was the problem?

A – Action. What did you do?

R – Result. Use an example where your actions led to a positive result.  

Thank you

Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for taking the time to see you. 


Take a few minutes afterwards to think about what happened. Did anything surprise you? What went well, or not so well? Every interview is an opportunity to learn. It’s also worth remembering that interviews are a chance for you to think about whether you’d like to work there. Did it feel like the right fit for you? If interviewers offer feedback, do say yes. It’s always useful.