Top 10 interview tips

By Dawn Redman

When you apply for a job and get “that” interview confirmation it is so exciting! Yet completely normal to feel nervous. As long as you are organised and prepared, you will get the better of your nerves and give yourself the best chance of getting the job.

I have put together my top 10 tips on the interview process which will put you in the best possible position to be offered the job.

Plan your route

It’s an obvious one but if you are going to travel by car plan your route in advance and find out where you can park. If necessary ask for directions, bus or train routes or details of parking.

Dress Code

It might be an idea to make contact with your prospective employer or agency to understand what the dress code is when being interviewed. Some organisations enjoy a more relaxed dress code some may not. If in doubt best advice is to dress smartly.

Company background

Find out as much as possible about the company. If you have not received an information pack, visit their company website on the Internet. It is good idea to jot down a few notes to take along to the interview.

Suggested check list before you set off for your interview

  • Remember to take your CV
  • The letter / e mail confirmation inviting you to attend the interview
  • Any company information you have gathered including any notes you have made on the company
  • Examples of your work, e.g. reports, 360 feedback, personal development, certificates, achievement awards
  • Questions you would like to ask

Be prepared

Read your application/CV, thinking through your own career and the questions they might ask you. You should try and anticipate the general questions, which they will ask. Many companies now interview in a more structured way, not only will they be asking you about your knowledge, skills and experience, be prepared to talk through some and give examples of where you have displayed certain behaviours e.g. communication, team work, motivation etc…And remember it’s a two way street, what would you like to know, prepare some questions to ask them

Get off to a good start and be aware of your body language

Look poised and confident as you enter the room, smile and shake hands firmly. Try to always maintain eye contact throughout and smile at the appropriate times. When talking vary the speed and tone of your voice and don’t forget to watch the interviewers body language as this may signal that the interviewer has heard enough


When talking try not to talk for longer than two or three minutes at any time (This does not sound a long time on paper – but try it!) and divide long explanations into stages, inviting questions after each stage. If at any stage you do not understand the questions do not be afraid to ask if they could repeat the question to you again.

Listen attentively

You must look interested in what the interviewer is saying and do not interrupt. Refer back to points made to demonstrate you were listening and encourage the interviewer to talk and if appropriate ask questions about the interviewer’s job, the employer’s needs and what are their expectations of the job holder?

Sell yourself

This does not mean only talking about yourself! You will need to explain how your skills and experience match their needs and demonstrate how the organisation will benefit by employing you and be positive and enthusiastic. You are in competition – stand out from the crowd!

After thoughts on interviews

If you’re not getting the job offers you desire then you need to look carefully at your interview performance. You should try and get as much feedback as possible from the people who have interviewed you, contact the interviewer or agency and ask them for the reasons why you were not successful and how they think you can improve.

Once you have got feedback (remember all feedback should be taken positively!) you can react and if required change your interview technique and will definitely be in a better position for your next interview.