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11 Steps To A GREAT Job Interview

Because you’re outstanding. They just need to know it.

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So you got the call from the employer

Now what? Prepare for the next stage of course. Interviews can feel a lot of work, but here are 11 easy steps you can take right now to really shine at an interview. All of these really work and they’re pretty straightforward.

Start your interview planning early

There’s a lot to plan for. How many people will be interviewing you? Will there be tests? A presentation? If you’re not sure call them up and ask, they really won’t mind. Think about what questions they will ask: what are they looking for and what evidence can you offer to show you’re The One.

Dig around online

Many company websites just contain corporate blurb. But a company’s social media has much more information. Check Twitter to see how they talk to customers and what customers think about them. Look on LinkedIn to see what the company wants to show off about. Even your local cafe is on social media now, so show you’ve taken a real interest in them online.

It might seem obvious, but really memorise your CV

A lot of employers tell us about candidates who don’t seem to know their own CV. Maybe that’s because interviews can be very demanding – sometimes your mind can go blank. So know your CV back to front so you’re ready for any anything.

Do everything you can to prepare

Take it really easy the night before the interview. Get everything ready that you need for the big day, have a hot bath, watch some TV, play with the cat. You’re best off avoiding the pub or the gym - go to bed early instead. Both jobseekers and employers tell us it really works.

Dress the part

You’ll want to look the part from the moment you walk into the interview, so check what’s appropriate for your job. What do people in that office/bar/shop wear? Choose something that will help you fit in. It’s unfair to judge people by their clothes, but they’re going to do it anyway, so be prepared. If in doubt, look smart – but don’t completely hide your personality. You’re still you underneath!

Try and arrive early

“Sorry I’m late” is the worst way to start an interview. Either you’ll be flustered throughout, or worse you’ll think “screw it!” and act as if you’re not going to get the job. Get there early and check the place out. If you’re really early stay outside, listen to your music and gather your thoughts. It can help you feel more confident and in control.

Look keen, but be yourself

You know the drill - look bright and attentive, but be yourself. Make eye contact, show enthusiasm, but be mindful that you’re not overdoing it – that can look strange. You don’t want to hide the real you, which is the product you’re selling here. Look interested, calm, and be natural.

Stay classy

Speaking clearly and confidently leaves a great impression, so don’t be afraid to take your time before you answer the question. Take a sip of water, get your thoughts in order and make your best answer. Remember, even ‘informal’ interviews aren’t really informal so don’t drop your guard – always sound professional.

If in doubt, tell the truth

It’s tempting to exaggerate a bit in interviews, especially if you think you haven’t quite got the experience or the skills they’re asking for. It’s always good to tell your story in the best way possible, but don’t lie. A good interviewer will probe you for more information and will catch you out. Don’t downplay your achievements but don’t make them up.

Be positive even when it gets tough!

Interviewers ask horrible questions sometimes. They may try to look intimidating, or sound rude. So what? You’re a good person with great skills who’d make a brilliant employee. No matter how tough the question, play your best hand. You don’t need to be defensive – positive always beats negative in an interview.


Look at it this way – interviews are a great opportunity to meet new people and talk about yourself. So be positive, be attentive and sell yourself. If you follow these eleven steps then you can’t help but shine in any interview.

For more job opportunities see #GetBritainWorking on Twitter.

Your Jobcentre Plus Work Coach can support you with your jobsearch, mock interviews, CV tips and interviews.

You can also check out the resource on the Skills to Succeed Academy

Now go get that job!

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