What should I do before an Interview?

You will be surprised how many people do not fully prepare themselves for an interview. 

Chances are you will have spent a considerable amount of time and effort to get to the stage of being invited for an interview so why would you not spend the additional time required to make sure that you maximise the opportunity. 

Most skilled interviewers will know if you have prepared of not. 

So here are some suggested things you should do before an interview. 

Get a good night’s sleep 

Postpone your social appointments, stop watching NETFLIX, put your mobile phone down and go to bed.  Do not leave all your interview preparation for the night before as you want to be as relaxed as possible. 

Set your alarm 

If you are attending an early interview or must travel some distance make sure your alarm (or alarms) are set, do not sleep in! 

Complete your research 

After some welcoming dialogue at the beginning of the interview, the interviewer might be keen to establish how much you know about their business.  It is therefore imperative that you carry out some research. 

  • Read through the material on their website. 
  • Google their business name to see what other information you can find. 
  • Visit their social media channels as up to date news is often published here prior to arriving on their website, things like recent business wins. 
  • Look to see if the company publishes some form of regular online news bulletin. 
  • Research the people you will be meeting, does their website have a ‘meet the team’?  Another great place to find this information is on LinkedIn.  If you are not comfortable that they might see you researching their profile, make sure you change your privacy viewing settings to ‘Anonymous LinkedIn member.’ 

Write notes whilst you are carrying out your research as these will be great to refresh your memory. 

Prepare questions 

It is good practise to prepare a small number of questions to ask at the interview.  Make sure the questions are good and you are not simply asking them for the sake of it. 

Top tip: read our article titled ‘What you should not say at an interview’. 

Asking questions shows that you have done some research, that you are interested in the role and can help open up discussions that will allow you to demonstrate why you are a strong fit for the vacancy.  If you find yourself at the end of the interview being asked ‘do you have any questions?, do not simply say ‘no’, a better response would be to say you had prepared some but they had been answered during the interview. 

Prepare Answers 

Prepare answers to what you might think the interviewer will ask you from reading your CV and comparing it to the job description.  This could include things such as lack of experience, breaks of employment dates and not having certain qualifications. 

Remember the successful candidate might not be the person ticking every single box, as people employ people and they must see you as a good fit for their team. 

Plan Your Travel 

Plan your travel to the interview making sure you know where you are going, how long it will take you to there and, if driving, where you will park.  Remember that traffic congestion varies depending on the time of day. 

Complete a test run to make sure everything is in order. 

Have a back-up plan as well just in case something should happen which is out of your control i.e. do you know who to call and do you have the telephone number entered in your mobile? 

Prepare your clothes 

Make sure that all your interview attire is ready, remember first impressions always count. 

Prepare documents  

It is good interview practice to take relevant documents with you.  Buy yourself a business document holder so you can have it close to hand at the interview.  Recommended documents to take are two copies of your CVyour ID (ideally your passport) and any qualification certificates which are relevant to the role. 

Speak with you Recruitment Consultant 

If you have secured the interview via a Recruitment Consultant make sure you gain as much ‘inside’ information as you can, chances are you will be not the first person who he/she has arranged an interview for at the company. 

Here you can uncover a gold mine of information including specific questions that have previously been asked. 

Top tip: if you are working via a recruitment consultant make sure you provide them interview feedback as soon as you can.  A skilled recruitment consultant can use this to your advantage. 

Interview Preparation List 

Prior planning is everything so working from an interview preparation list will help you ensure you have done everything possible and ultimately put your mind at rest which will help you gain that all-important good night’s sleep. 

Additional Help 

Not attended an interview recently and feeling nervous? 

Give a member of our Team a call and we will be happy to chat things through and give you some help. 

Call 0333 3445577