Being invited to a job interview can be a very daunting experience, particularly if it’s been a few years since you’ve had one. First things first, don’t panic! There are plenty of things you can do to give yourself a head start and make sure you are fully prepared when you go. Here are our top tips to help you prepare.


Research the Company

Make sure you fully understand the job description and that you have researched the company as much as you can.  Most companies have websites so this is the obvious place to start. Use the website to look for recent press releases, the latest company news or their blog and think how this might relate to the role you are going for. These days social media is also a useful source of up to date information.  Check out the company profile on LinkedIn and what they’re saying on Facebook and Twitter and what’s being said to them.  It also worthwhile to search the names of the hiring manager online and on LinkedIn; it’s a great advantage to know something about your potential interviewer! Pick up some trade journals or search the web to learn more about the company’s industry. Try to get an understanding of where the company might sit amongst its competitors.

Know your skills

Allocate some time to re-read your CV and spend some time analysing your skill sets that are particularly relevant to the job in question.  Ensure you have thought through examples of previous experiences that would fit situations that may occur in this job.  It is a good idea to have at least three achievement stories prepared. These demonstrate hard to measure qualities like initiative, team skills, judgement and leadership. As in your CV, quantify why these were achievements.  For example, an increase of sales by 10% year on year, and so on.

Know your motivations and reasons

Spend a little time thinking about yourself and how you can be perceived as an interested, enthusiastic candidate. Be clear about why you want to do the job.  In addition to knowing about the role and the relevance of your skills and experience to it, think what you’re going to say when the interviewer asks ‘Why do you want this job?’ What is it about the company that attracts you? Are you going to find the job rewarding?  Is it using your hard-won skills? Working in a team again? Working in a growing business?


An interview is a two way process which means you need to be asking as many questions as the client! It is imperative that you have pre-prepared questions to ask so there are no awkward silences. Your interviewer will be enthusiastic about their business and will want to see this reflected in you.

Prepare yourself

Decide the night before what you will wear and make sure it is ready.  You don’t want to be late because of ironing a shirt.  Go to bed early and get a good nights’ sleep.

Know where and when

Check the exact location of your interview and who you are meeting prior to the interview.  Know where the station is or where you can park, take change for parking and allow yourself plenty of time to get there in case of delays!


First impressions are the most powerful and the hardest to change. It only takes 4 seconds to make your first impression and 4 years to change a bad one so make your initial one count!

  • Always introduce yourself with a firm and positive handshake and a confident smile!
  • It is essential that you dress smartly (ideally a suit).  If you haven’t worked for a while, ask friends or go online and look at the current trends in business dress.
  • Remove any jewellery that could be considered ‘unprofessional’.  It may be fine outside of work but not every employer may like it.
  • If you are a regular smoker, try not to smoke immediately before the interview as it may be quite obvious to those who do not smoke.
  • Be aware of how much perfume you’re wearing!

Face to face

This is the time when you can really put your case forward as to why you are the best person for the job. An interview offers the opportunity not only to sell yourself but also to find out whether the company and job is really of interest to you.

  • Body language is incredibly important.  You must maintain good eye contact with the interviewer and speak in a clear and confident manner. Try not to fidget or fiddle with your hair or jewellery despite how nervous you may be feeling!
  • Make sure you are comfortable.  There is enough to contend with in an interview so if the sun is shining in your eyes, get it sorted before you begin.
  • Relax and smile! Why be nervous? You haven’t even found out whether the job is of interest to you yet. Remember: the employer is interviewing you because they have a vacancy.  They would like you to be the perfect person just as much as you would like the job itself.
  • Allow the employer to finish the sentences and listen clearly to what they say. No one likes to be talked over or interrupted.
  • Answer the questions directly, providing the information that is being asked for and do not waffle!
  • Make sure you ask questions, this shows you are interested and have done your research.
  • Tell the truth.  If you don’t understand what the client has asked you, ask them to explain.
  • Take your time before answering any difficult questions as you should think through the answer and express yourself clearly.
  • Always maintain your professionalism. Even if the interviewer is very casual and friendly remain professional at all times.
  • Try not to put too much emphasis on salary or package details at this stage. An employer prefers someone interested in the job itself rather than the salary.
  • If you are interested in the job make sure you let the interviewer know before you leave. Try and find out what the next steps are.
  • Shake hands when you leave.

So that’s it.  It’s over to you, now go get em tiger !!