Everyone preparing for a job interview needs to read this

Getting ready for a job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, but these top tips will help you nail it

By Lydia Cerguera

Your application has been accepted. Your CV has been read. Now you’ve been invited to an interview for the job of your dreams.

    How are you going to give the best possible account of yourself in just a half-hour conversation?  

This is the moment when anxiety sets in. How are you going to give the best possible account of yourself in just a half-hour conversation? How are you going to make a good impression?

To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of tips for interview success. Read them, and you’ll be ready for anything.

1. Turn up early

Apart from car crashes, train strikes, a national declaration of war, broken bones (you get the picture!) there is absolutely no excuse for arriving late to an interview.

Plan your journey. Check your petrol levels. Listen to the traffic news. Make sure you have parking money. Memorise the bus/train timetable.

Basically, do whatever is necessary to get there early. And by early, we mean half an hour at the very least.

That way, you have time to find the interview room, go to the toilet, calm down, drink some water, and get mentally prepared for the challenge ahead.      

2. Do your homework

Find out as much as possible about your prospective employer prior to the interview. That enables you to demonstrate a real understanding of the company, which is sure to impress.

Another tip is to get some background on your interviewer, so that you can establish a rapport with them and show that you’re willing to go the extra mile in securing the job.

3. Read the job description. Then read it again

It’s surprising how many times interviewers have to remind people of what’s included in a job role, even though they’ve applied for the vacancy.

Read all the information provided in the job spec before the interview, and be sure to refer to it in your answers. This shows that you’ve thought about your application and what you can bring to the role. It may also help you work out if the job’s exactly what you want.

    Your task is to show the interviewer that you can take direction and grow with the business, not that you want to take it over (yet).  

4. Manners maketh man (and woman)

Good manners don’t cost anything and help you make a strong impression when meeting people for the first time.

Shake the interviewer’s hand at the beginning and end of the interview, make eye contact, thank them for their time, and sit up properly in your seat.

You may find that the interviewer is busy taking notes for a lot of the interview, so don’t worry if you can’t maintain eye contact while answering their questions. But be sure to look at them, rather than turning your face away. Even with their head down, they’ll be able to sense your engagement.

5. Be confident, but not too confident

Feeling geared up and ready to take on the world? Great, but don’t muddle that with sounding arrogant about your experience and knowledge.

Answer questions with grace, despite the fact you may think you’re perfect for the role. Your task is to show the interviewer that you can take direction and grow with the business, not that you want to take it over (yet).

6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before the big day

Most job adverts offer a chance to contact the employer before an interview to ask any questions. These may be about things such as working hours, the location, or the benefits package. Or maybe you just want to clarify some detail about the job spec.

It’s a good idea to get this sort of stuff out of the way prior to your interview. That will give you a clearer understanding of what’s on offer, as well as showing the interviewer that you’re taking the opportunity seriously.

7. Remember to whet your whistle

Bring a bottle of water to an interview, just in case the company doesn’t provide a drink. There’s nothing worse than tacky-mouth syndrome, especially when you’re trying to impress.

Keep the bottle in a discreet place and remember not to gulp back the entire contents within the first five minutes. It’s probably not a great idea to interrupt your interview with an emergency trip to the loo.

    ...no interviewer wants to see a candidate wearing a creased shirt with ketchup stains down the front.  

8. Turn your phone off, and put it away

You wouldn’t have your phone on at the cinema, so why would you keep it on during a potentially life-changing interview?

While it may be tempting to look like a powerhouse with your phone on the interview table, avoid this at all costs – it just shows the interviewer they are not worth your time.

9. Dress the part

It doesn’t matter if you’re going for a job at a fast-food chain or a high street bank, no interviewer wants to see a candidate wearing a creased shirt with ketchup stains down the front.

Smart clothes, a well-groomed but not fastidious appearance, and a nice clean aroma are just the ticket.

The interviewer needs to know you’ll take the role seriously. If you can’t leave the house looking smart, they’re unlikely to have confidence in your abilities.

10. Think about your answers. Don’t rush in

It can be tempting to leap in when the interview gets going, but most employers prefer candidates to take their time in answering questions. Better to give a thoughtful response after a brief pause than to jump in with something ill-considered.

Of course, if you think about potential questions before the interview, you may find you have some well-prepared answers up your sleeve. And that’s sure to make a good impression.

Published: 7 November 2019

© Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Top tips for note-taking success

You may also enjoy: What are catalytic mechanisms?

Jobs currently available

New job
Electrical Wireman
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Braintree
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910175
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an Electrical Wire person on behalf of a company based in Braintree, Essex.

The role will involve mechanical and electrical assembly, wire and electrically test distribution and MCCB boards, cabinets and cable harnesses. The role also has the potential for new product development by building prototype boards and testing boards before product launch.

Duties:

  • Build and test distribution and MCCB panels to the standards specified by the latest electrical regulations: BS EN 61439 and BS7671 including energy metering and surge suppression devices.
  • Read, understand and work from technical electrical CAD drawings and wiring diagrams.
  • To pick and check all component quantity and quality before each job.
  • To build and assemble wiring loom kits using a variety of cable crimp hand tools.
  • Electrical testing, fault finding and resolution.
  • Production of Test Certificates.
  • To work using own initiative with limited supervision.
  • Maintain manufacturing records including: copy test certification, wiring diagrams, layout drawings and production sheets.

Requirements:

  • Previous strong experience in Low Voltage panel building environment.
  • Knowledge of metering requirements and installation.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Flash Testing Certified.
Read more
Graphic Designer
Sector: Marketing, Advertising and PR
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910168
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Graphic Designer on behalf of a company based in Colchester, Essex.

They are looking for an enthusiastic and skilled Graphic Designer to join their team.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join an exciting company as they rapidly expand nationwide.

Duties will include:

  • Designing and producing marketing material for nine businesses across the UK
  • Each business has their own distinct brand identity, so you must be willing to adapt as the situation demands
  • Manage the production of their 300 page brochure
  • Design other promotional material; for example posters and flyers; for use in their sites
  • Liaising with 3rd parties to design and produce physical promotional materials
  • Negotiating prices
  • Experience with website design is preferable
  • Experience with running business social media accounts also preferable

Experience in a similar role or relevant qualification is a must for this opportunity

  • Relevant extensive experience in design programs - for example, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver - is required
Read more
Designer
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: discussed on application
Location: Chelmsford, South Woodham Ferrers
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910167
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Designer on behalf of a company based near South Woodham Ferrers.

This is a fantastic opportunity if you have a Product Design background and can offer Retail or POS Design experience.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Create new products, including 3D designs, prototyping and testing
  • Execute robust design process and continuous improvement
  • Take client brief either from Account Manager or Client
  • Time management and planning workload with Head of Design
  • A ‘can do’ attitude

Qualifications:

  • Excellent level of knowledge using SolidWorks
  • Good level of knowledge using Adobe Suite
  • Experience with the POS sector would be advantageous
  • Product Design degree would be preferred
  • Good problems solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good Word & Excel skills
Read more
Administrator
Sector: Public Service and Administration
Salary: £16,500 - £17,000 per annum
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910164
About the role

Just Recruitment is working with one of Suffolk’s most promising mortgage companies. Established in 2014, this company is looking to take on a skilled Administrator to support its rapid expansion.

Your duties will include:

  • Supporting the mortgage brokers in their day-to-day activities
  • Electronic Filing and record-keeping
  • Checking and submitting mortgage applications
  • Progressing cases
  • Speaking to members of the public, both in-person and over the phone

Ideally, you will:

  • Have experience in an administrative role
  • Possess an excellent telephone manner
  • Be diligent and detail-oriented
  • Be highly computer literate, including familiarity with Microsoft Packages
  • Have a great sense of humour

Working hours:

35 per week – Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm, with an hour off for lunch

Read more
Warehouse Operator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910163
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Warehouse Operative on behalf of a company based in Sudbury Suffolk.

Your daily duties will include:

  • Ensuring that the warehouse is kept tidy and organised
  • Unloading and checking of deliveries in
  • Checking in goods
  • Putting away products within the warehouse
  • Picking products as per customer orders
  • Checking orders, ensuring accuracy
  • Packing orders to ensure safety in delivery
  • Loading deliveries
  • On occasions take responsibility for the locking up procedure for the Warehouse/Site

Working hours:

Split shifts: 6.00am – 2.30pm / 2.00pm – 10.30pm

You will have the following skills and experience:

  • Suitable applicants will ideally have current Forklift licences for Counterbalance, Pallet Truck and Flexi
  • Good level of Numeracy and Literacy
  • Intermediate PC skills
  • Preferred NVQ Level 2 Warehousing or equivalent
  • Prior knowledge of Warehouse Management Systems
Read more
Equity Release Advisor
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910156
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an Equity Release Advisor to join an established company based in Needham Market.

Operating for over 20 years, our client has a great reputation in the local area. They are looking to take on someone with a real hunger to succeed within the industry.

  • A CeMAP / Equity Release qualification
  • Experience within mortgage broking or Equity Release
  • Great communication skills
  • A detail-oriented nature
  • Experience of dealing with clients, both in-person and over the phone
  • Strong market awareness
  • Great knowledge of Microsoft packages and be generally computer literate

In return, you will receive a competitive base salary plus commission.

Please get in touch if you would like to be considered for this exciting new opportunity.

Read more
Mortgage Advisor
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910155
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Mortgage Advisor to join an established mortgage company based in Needham Market.

Operating for over 20 years, our client has a great reputation in the local area. They are looking to take on someone with a real hunger to succeed within the industry.

You will have:

  • A CeMAP qualification (happy to consider newly qualified applicants)
  • Experience within mortgage broking or financial services
  • Great communication skills
  • A detail-oriented nature
  • Experience of dealing with clients, both in-person and over the phone
  • Strong market awareness
  • Great knowledge of Microsoft packages and be generally computer literate

In return, you will receive a competitive base salary plus commission.

Please get in touch if you would like to be considered for this exciting new opportunity.

Read more