Interview hints and tips

Interviews and interview preparation can be stressful at the best of times. We have put together a simple guide to cover off the main pointers to remember. Like a person, an interview is an individual experience, where no one-size-fits-all will be perfect, but these key things to remember may help.


  • Look up the company website. An obvious one, but people do make assumptions about organisations that might be incorrect. You are not expected to know everything and repeat it, but a good read will give you a decent insight and overview
  • Think about why you have applied for this role and why with this company specifically – the answer to this simple question could determine the outcome of your interview in the first five minutes
  • Check out relevant publications, articles etc. on what is going on in the sector – this will help you to ask relevant questions at the end of an interview and shows you have done your research
  • Read the job description and competencies. Make a list of examples that match up to each one – most questions will cover more than one competency so if you have one for each, you will have sufficient not to repeat an example. There are numerous websites that will talk you through competency-based interviews or the STAR technique – ‘winging it on the day will almost certainly result in failure’
  • Review your own CV and career history – this part, people do expect you to know like the back-of-your-hand. If you feel you have a unique selling point – make a note
  • Map out how to get there and how long it takes at that time of day. There is nothing like being late and then struggling for a parking space to increase your stress levels

On the day:

  • Turn up on time – not twenty minutes early, but five minutes is sufficient
  • Dress appropriately – check with the interviewer or your consultant what the format and dress code might be in anticipation
  • Smile and be polite to everyone you see there regardless of status; the receptionists’ opinion is often asked for, as a barometer of your personality
  • Handshake – make it confident but not a vice grip, additionally limp lettuce is not a good feel
  • Be concise – enough detail but don’t waffle on. Overrunning by an hour is not the sign of a good interview necessarily. Practice your answers, this will give you an idea of how long your examples will take
  • Have pre-prepared questions. If they cover them off in the interview – tell them
  • Take a copy of your CV - yes, they should have one, but that does not mean technology failures, last minute meetings etc. have not caught the interviewer out on the day. If they do need one you have done them a favour and it will positively impact their view of you
  • Relax – easier said than done, but if you are prepared and on time, you are off to a good start


  • Do ask when you should expect to hear back
  • Do tell them if you are interested at the time, feedback goes both ways and it will be seen as a positive
  • Don’t forget to thank them for their time and continue to be polite to everyone you encounter, as you leave the building


CV Writing

Remember that creating your CV is your first chance to make a good impression so here are some pointers to make your CV stand out from the rest:


  • Your headline should be your name and contact details. Both a mobile number and email address are recommended. Whilst it is not necessary to include your full home address, do list the City you live in. This will allow people to gauge whether you are within a commutable distance
  • Write a concise summary, it gives some context to your CV and sums up who you are and gives the reader a preview of what is to come
  • All work experience should be on your CV - list each position separately, either as bullet points or with bold headlines for each. At the top of each include the job title, company name and your dates of employment. If there are any large gaps in your experience, such as travelling for a year, ensure these are accounted for on your CV
  • On occasion, a one-liner about what your company does/industry sector can be invaluable
  • Qualifications must be listed, especially if they are integral to your current employment. You have worked hard to achieve good results so make sure they are on your CV
  • Ask people to look at your CV and read it with fresh eyes, a second opinion can be extremely advantageous
  • Bullet point as much of your CV as you can. The hiring manager will appreciate you making it easy to read. Plus, they can easily see your highlighted experience and qualifications


  • Always have your most recent experience first and then work backwards, not the other way round
  • Never send your CV without double checking it for grammatical mistakes and spelling errors
  • Do not listen to the one-page rule for your CV – it is better to have multiple pages than for it to be difficult to read


Remote Interviewing


  • Ensure you have a practice run, this is good for preparing answers and testing the equipment. The ideal thing is to video call a friend so they can help you and offer observations
  • Remember body language is still important, although you are not in the same room as your interviewer physically you still need to sit up straight and look attentive
  • Awkward interruptions that can interfere with your interview need to be avoided so switch off your phone and remind people in the house that you are unavailable for the foreseeable
  • Switch off any music or television that is on in the background as this can be very distracting
  • Ensure you are professionally dressed. However tempting, do not just look professional from the waist up. If you had to stand up for whatever reason it is not a good look to show your pyjama bottoms
  • Remember to smile!


  • If you do have notes, do not overuse them. It is sometimes easier on a video call to forget that you are in front of someone so try not to spend all your time looking at notes and keep good eye contact with your interviewer
  • It can feel unnatural at first but look at the camera and not at the screen. Looking at the screen might feel like you are giving good eye contact, but all they will see is that you are looking down
  • Ensure that you do not have anything in the background that you would not want an interviewer to see, a professional well-presented background is an absolute must
  • Be aware not to move your head around too much or look up when thinking of an answer to a question. This can sometimes give the interview an unwanted neck or nostril view!
Ready to find your next big challenge? Let's Go!
Cookies on this website
We to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you wish you can restrict or block cookies by changing your browser setting. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.