Helping you into work

Tips for your interview

Interviews are conversations with a purpose – the employer wants to find out about you. It is also your opportunity to find out about the role, and for the employer to answer any queries you may have.

You are not alone being nervous attending an interview - everybody gets nervous. It is right that you are if you are taking the job seriously

  • always allow plenty of time for your journey. If you are not sure how long it will take, then make a practice run before hand. This is also help to ease your nerves on the day
  • try to arrive at least 10 minutes early
  • If possible shake hands with a firm handshake (nothing is worse than a wet limp handshake) and introduce yourself
  • do some homework on the company and understand what line of business they are in. This may come in useful during the interview and will also convince you that you want to work for them
  • use the information on the person specification to anticipate interview questions. A good idea is to read through as if you were setting the questions and then think of your answers
  • there is no harm in taking a few notes with you, but make sure you are organised
  • dress comfortably and appropriately. A good guide is to dress up for the interview
  • Listen carefully and answer the question the interviewer asks, ask for clarification if you are not sure, this shows confidence.
  • don't try to beat the clock during the interview. Take time to think about your answers and don’t panic if it goes quiet but remember that the interview will only last for a set time and you need to get all your information across in that time
  • if you are not sure how long you have, ask, this shows forward planning and confidence
  • be prepared to talk, do not give one word answers. Provide enough detail to show you have experience. For example “Yes I use Microsoft Excel, I create my own spreadsheets and use them to show graphs in documents” or “Yes I can drive a fork truck, I am qualified for long reach and collate customer orders onto pallets”
  • if you do not understand the question ask for clarification, this shows confidence and control
  • sell yourself. This is your opportunity to tell a potential employer what you can do
  • the interviewer will only know what you tell them. If the job description asks for specific experience, tell them how you have it
  • prepare questions you would like to ask at the end of the interview, ask about the job, organisation, products and how long it may take before they get back to you with an answer
  • before you leave thank them for their time, say you look forward to hearing from them soon and shake hands again, using a firm handshake