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Find out how to prepare for an interview and how to give a good interview.

Preparing for an interview

Planning and preparing for an interview can take a great deal of time and should not be overlooked. Planning for an interview can be divided into two areas: general preparation and job specific preparation. This guide aims to provide you with some helpful information to support you with such preparation and provides some general hints and tips for the interview itself.

Types of interview

These are the main types of interview you'll need to prepare for:

General preparation

Re-read the letter inviting you to the interview to ensure you are fully aware of anything you need to take, any presentations you have to do, or assessments you need to complete prior to, or on the day of, the interview. This will ensure you are in the right mind-set and do not have to complete an assessment that you were not expecting to do.

Some other guidance to follow is below:

Job specific preparation

Re-read the job description / person specification to familiarise yourself with the key duties of the role. It is likely that some of the interview questions may relate to some of the key duties of the role so have a think about how your experience to date relates to these.

Some other guidance is below:

The interview itself

Creating the right ‘first impression’ is vital. The way you dress, smile, maintain appropriate eye contact, and even the way you walk into the room and sit during the interview, are important. The impression you give in the first 90 seconds of your meeting can be pivotal.

Avoid the negative aspects of non-verbal communication (body language) such as fidgeting, doodling or tapping your foot or finger. Those little things you do when nervous.

Many hiring managers start the interview by asking you to tell them ‘a little about yourself’. This is not designed to put you under too much pressure but to relax you by giving you the opportunity to talk about something you should know a little about - yourself. This open-ended question might require a two-minute, or more, answer. A two-minute answer gives you time explain who you are and where you're from, what schools you've attended, your work experience, leadership traits, why you're interested in the position and what attracted you to the industry in the first place.

You will then be asked a wide variety of questions dependant on the role but all will be aimed at establishing whether, or not, you match what you have put on your CV, and / or application form, and meet their requirements. The fact that you have been invited to interview suggests that they think you can do the job.

Some more guidance on specific aspects of interviews:


If you receive notification that you are unsuccessful following the interview it would be beneficial for you to telephone the recruiting manager to ask for feedback. This will help you to reflect and plan for future interviews.

Last updated: October 2019