To give an employer a good impression and improve your chances of being offered a job, it is vital that you prepare properly for your interview. There are many ways you can do this, as our tips below describe.
Preparing for your interview
Keep a copy of the job description and make sure you review this before the interview. Job descriptions are really important as they highlight the skills and experience required for the role. The interviewer will ask you to provide suitable examples of these skills and experience.
Keep a copy of your CV and any supporting documentation that you sent in with your application. This is especially important if you have different versions or CVs and cover letters for different sectors – make sure you have the correct version and it is up to date. You can make notes on your CV to remind you what to say during your interview.
Research the company – this is a very important part of your preparation as the interviewer will expect you to know about the organisation’s aims, company values and what they do. An organisation’s website is the best place to start as this will provide a good deal of information about what they do, as well as show you some of the people who work there. Don’t worry about remembering every single detail about the company – this is not something an interviewer would expect from you. Be familiar with the basics and how your own interests and experiences link to the company.
Plan your answers - Please see our ‘Interview Questions’ and 'Skills Matrix' section of the website to help you plan and develop your answers.
Prepare questions - having questions to ask your interviewer shows you have prepared, done your research and are interested in finding out more about the company.
Check accessibility – If you have specific accessibility requirements, you should contact the employer to make them aware of this before your interview. It is also good practice to work out where the nearest parking is and practise your journey beforehand to ensure you can get there.
Other things to consider
As well as preparing what to say and ask, you also need to think about what you are going to wear and how you are getting to your interview. Here are some more things to consider that will help eliminate the risk of any last minute panics and give you more time to focus on getting ready and getting to your interview on time.
Your interview clothing - make sure you are presentable, clean and dressed appropriately for the role you have applied for. If you are interviewing for an office role, it would be appropriate to wear a smart dark coloured suit, minimal jewellery and dark shoes. If you want to clarify what is classed as appropriate clothing, or if you cannot afford new clothes for an interview, please speak to your Employment Coordinator.
Prepare your outfit - ensure your interview clothes have been washed and ironed a few days in advance, your shoes are clean and you have a suitable bag in which to put your CV, a notebook and pen.
Your journey to the interview – be sure you know how long it takes to get there and aim to arrive 15-20 minutes early. If you are getting the bus to the interview, be aware of the bus timetable and make sure there are no large events/road works which could cause a delay.
The time you will wake up – make sure an alarm is set and you give yourself enough time to get ready.
Personal hygiene – this is just as important as dressing appropriately for an interview. Make sure you shower, wash your hair and clean your teeth before you attend an interview. You should also avoid wearing too much make-up and ensure your nails are clean and presentable. It is very common to feel nervous before an interview and for some people this may mean they sweat more, make sure you use deodorant or body spray to help reduce sweating or body odour. Refer to the Personal hygiene section of the website for more information.
Interview Preparation Checklist
To make sure you have fully prepared for your interview, we have created a checklist for you. Click on the link below to download this.
Interview Preparation Checklist
Skills Jersey has produced some useful interview preparation tips and guidance, which can be found here, as well as a great video showing you the do's and don'ts of interviews.
JET can help you prepare for an interview by providing advice, discussing interview preparation techniques and undertaking mock interview practice. Mock interviews, or more informal discussions around potential interview questions, can be very useful as they allow you to prepare answers and examples in a familiar environment.
If you would like help with your interview preparation, please speak to your Employment Coordinator.