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An interview is an opportunity to help you gain a better understanding of the role and the organisation and to tell your potential employer about your skills and experience in more detail. Most people feel nervous before attending an interview. Don’t worry, this is completely natural! Being well prepared for your interview will help you feel more confident.

Preparing for the interview... 

  • Do your research! Make sure you know about the business you’re applying for and that you understand the job role you’re applying for.
  • Look at the person specification/job description; this might give you an idea of what questions you’ll be asked.

You should make sure you prepare answers to the most commonly asked interview questions, here's just a few:

Why do you want this job?
What are your strengths or weaknesses?
What do you know about our company?
Why did you want to work for our company?

Check out the top 10 interview questions from the National Careers Service... they've got some good tips on how to answer these questions!

The interview...

An interview is the employer's chance to find out more about you, and whether you're suitable for the role you've applied for.

  • Introduce yourself to the interviewer
  • Look confident (even if you aren't). Sit up straight, and don't slouch.
  • Speak clearly, and don't rush your words.
  • Try not to answer with a simple 'yes' or 'no' – use your experiences to answer questions.
  • Provide examples of when you have demonstrated a particular skill
  • Don't interrupt the interviewer, and allow them to finish the question – listen carefully to what they have asked. If unsure, ask the interviewer to repeat or expand on a question – take your time to think about the question before you answer.
  • Most importantly, sell yourself! Interviews give you the opportunity to do this, so make the most of it.

At the end of the interview you will be given the opportunity to ask questions. It's good if you can demonstrate knowledge of the organisation – do some research before the interview and write down some key questions that you can take with you to the interview. Asking interesting questions is a good way of impressing the employer!

Make sure you thank the employer for their time and ask how they will inform you of the results of the interview.

Don’t lie, you’ll get found out eventually!

Some important tips!

  • Dress smartly – first impressions count! If possible prepare your interview outfit the day before.
  • Be punctual – Find out where the venue is, how to get there and how long it will take you.
  • Take a copy of your CV and evidence of your qualifications with you.
  • Don't smoke before the interview and don't chew gum.
  • Don't lie, you'll get found out eventually!
  • Don’t forget to turn your mobile phone off!