It’s always useful to prepare thoroughly for interviews. People spend ages thinking of the questions they might be asked and how to give fantastic answers, which is fab, but there are loads of other bits you can do, that you might not have thought of, to prepare yourself for the big day. Here are my top tips on preparing for interviews 🙂
Before you apply:
- Google the company and find out exactly where it’s located. Is it easily accessible by public transport or will you need to take a car? Check if there’s parking on-site or nearby and see if you’ll need to pay. If you’re going by public transport, check where the nearest bus stop or train station is and how far away it is from the building. Is the salary worth the cost of commuting?
- Check the job description carefully and make sure you’re happy with the salary/hours/location. I once applied for a job which I later found out was only a fixed-term contract, but they’d written it in such tiny writing right at the bottom of the page, I hadn’t actually noticed it!
- If you don’t want to tell your current boss/manager/team you’re looking for a new job, check the interview date on the application and request the day off as annual leave as soon as possible. That way you’re not panicking about having to mysteriously leave the office for a few hours or calling in “sick” and worry about being spotted by a colleague! You can always cancel it if you don’t get an interview. If there’s no date on the application but there’s a contact email address or number, you can always contact them to ask 🙂
In the week/s before:
- Check out the company’s website and find out some information about them and what they do. They’ll be impressed if you know something about them that wasn’t on the application form.
- Try on your interview outfit and make sure it still fits! If it doesn’t, you’d better get shopping!
A day or two before:
- If you’re going by car, make sure you have enough petrol, your tyres are pumped up and pop enough change in the glovebox in case you do need to pay to park somewhere.
- Read over the job and person specification again and note down the main keywords.
- If you think you’re going to get lost, print out a map of the area and pop it in your bag or the pocket of your interview outfit.
- Work out what make-up you’re going to wear and how you’re going to style your hair. The day of the interview is not the time to experiment with new looks or styles; keep it simple and subtle. I personally prefer a sleek ponytail or a tight bun. If you can, perhaps get a quick trim so your hair looks neat and tidy.
- Make sure your interview outfit is clean and smells fresh.
The night before:
- Iron your outfit and don’t forget to polish your shoes! If you’re taking a bag or coat, make sure it looks presentable.
- If you have chipped nail varnish on, take it off! I leave my nails bare so I don’t worry about chips on the day.
- Have a shave or a beard trim so you’re not rushing in the morning to do it. There’s less chance you’ll nick yourself if you can take your time!
- Make sure you set an alarm for the morning and charge up your phone.
- Get plenty of sleep and try not to worry; what will be, will be!
On the day:
- Get up early enough to have a shower, eat breakfast and do your hair and makeup (if applicable).
- Check the route to get to the interview; are there any roadworks or diversions, are there any train problems?
- Give yourself plenty of time to get there, just in case the bus is running late or the car park is completely full and you have to find somewhere else to park.
- Put your outfit on at the last minute so you don’t spill toothpaste or coffee down yourself.
- Don’t put on too much perfume or aftershave, you don’t want to choke anyone with your over-powering scent!
- Check the email confirmation or letter before you leave to remember where you’re meant to report to and who you’re asking for. You can always print it out to take with you.
- If you can, hide out of sight of the building just before you go in and check yourself over. Is your skirt tucked into your knickers? Do you have bits of porridge stuck in your teeth? Have you smeared your makeup everywhere? If you’re chewing gum, get rid of it!
- Once you’re in and are waiting to be seen, take a few deep and calming breaths. Try not to clasp your hands together as you’ll make them sweaty!
What are your top tips to help you prepare for an interview? Let me know in the comments below 🙂 x
These are some great tips Holly! I remember one nightmare interview where the top button on my shirt fell off during the interview! 😓 So yes, I was flashing the lady and gentlemen my bra for the remainder of it. I didn’t even realise the button was lose – so that would be my tip, make sure your shirt won’t come undone. 😐
OMG, that’s a great tip lol … Did you get the job though? 😉😉
Unfortunately not lol! 😂
I know! Flashed my boobs and still, nothing. 😉
AHAHAHA love it!!
Holly, these are such good tips! Interviews can be so overwhelming and we often dismiss things such as travel and parking! I have also spilt toothpaste down me before an interview – nightmare!
We wrote an article on tips to get your CV noticed, if anyone is applying for jobs:
Imogen, Brighton Girl,
Thanks Imogen 🙂 I used to be awful and not look stuff like that up until the day, nightmare!! Ah, fantastic tips yourself about getting your CV noticed 🙂 xx
Some great tips here Holly! I really find that proper planning prevents piss poor performance, and that’s definitely true for interviews! I find that making sure I’m extra prepared, and treating the interview like a business meeting is also incredibly beneficial!
Thanks Nat 🙂 Agreed, if you’re properly prepared, you won’t turn up feeling stressed, sweaty and unable to concentrate!!
Love this post Holly! Really good tips. x
Thank you 🙂 Glad you found it useful 🙂 x