Preparing for an Interview

Interviews are an essential part of the recruitment process, so it is vital to be at your best.

Careers Springboard hold frequent meetings and discussions on interview technique to help you make the most of every opportunity by being well prepared and organised.  Members can also book one to one interview practice sessions and interview coaching to work on particular concerns regarding interview technique etc.

General guidance

  • Be positive – the interviewer is only seeing you because they believe you can do the job. Your task is to provide the evidence
  • Find out as much as you can about the target job
  • Thoroughly research the company’s activities, ownership, structure, financial status and products, well ahead of the interview. Look at the annual report. What’s hot in the press?  Who are their main competitors?
  • Check the organisation’s website – it will usually state the values of the organisation and, sometimes in the Careers section, desired employee behaviours – try to reflect these in your answers.
  • Clarify the type of interview to which you are invited; is it with a recruitment consultant or the HR department, a selection panel, a line manager or with the senior executive who can make the final decision?  Where possible, get the interviewers’ names and find out about them via LinkedIn
  • Anticipate the most likely questions they will ask you – e.g. personal motivations and ambitions, work experience and skills, reason for leaving your last job, etc. Plan and rehearse your answers
  • Prepare and rehearse your answer to the common introductory question “Tell me about yourself” (see link)
  • Identify some questions that you would like to ask – ones that indicate your interest in and enthusiasm for the job/company
  • Pay particular attention to your appearance and conform to the company’s dress code. If in doubt, err on the side of formality!
  • Plan your journey in advance, check parking availability near to the interview location, to ensure that you will be on time and can present yourself in a fully composed and confident manner
  • Have any papers in a single folder. No brief case to fumble with. Look organised.