Ten Steps Towards A Successful Interview

Preparing for an interview means that you should take time to consider your skills and qualifications to see if they are relative to the position that you are applying for. It is important that you carefully research the company, job role, and why you would be a good fit for the position. Here are ten steps to help you prepare for a successful interview.


1. Read the job description carefully

The job description is a list of skills, qualities and qualifications that a company is looking for in an ideal candidate. The more boxes you tick off, the better chance you have of impressing your interviewers. This description will also give you an idea of the different questions you could be asked throughout your interview.


2.  Research the job role, company and industry

It is essential that you do your research before attending an interview! 
Research the company website, their blogs and all of their social media accounts. This will give you a better idea of what the job role entails and how your previous experience matches up with this. If you are well informed on what is currently happening within the company and are aware of upcoming events, you will come across as interested in the position and will stand out from the crowd.

Employers can spot when an attendee hasn’t carried out their research as they may ask questions about their products and services or even their company history.


3.  Prepare answers for common interview questions

Although you can’t predict the questions you will be asked during your interview, there are still a few common questions you can still prepare for. Here are examples of some questions

Why do you want to work with us? – To prepare for this question you should research the history, culture, products and services of the company. Write a list of why they appeal to you and how they fit in with your career goals.

• What are your strengths? – This question gives you the opportunity to demonstrate why you are the perfect person for this role as you can show off your strengths and how they are suitable for the job.

• What has been your greatest achievement? –Your greatest achievement may be recently graduating from your degree or completing an online course. However, achievements don’t always have to be academic! You can use this opportunity show off your hobbies and let employers know a it more about you.

There are some industries such as software engineering where you may need to show off some of your coding skills. To prepare for this you can reach out and talk to people who have been through similar interview processes and get some hints and tips. 


4. Prepare questions you can ask

Questions that you can ask at the end of an interview are so important as it shows the interviewers you are keen to learn more about the role and the company. Here are some examples of questions you could ask:

 What qualities do you value in an employee? – This shows that you are interested in knowing if the position is the right fit for you and also gives an idea if you have covered everything you need to within the interview. 

Why do you enjoy working here? – This question will give you an insight into what it is really like to work within the company and the perks of being an employee there.

• If there any career progression within this role? – By asking this question, it hows the interviewer that you are ambitious and it also gives them an opportunity to show off their company to you.

When preparing your questions at home, it important to make sure you don’t ask any questions that have been previously covered within the interview as it may look like you weren’t paying attention.


5. Print hard copies of your CV and prepare a portfolio

Most employers ask for a digital copy of your CV to see if you are the right fit for the job. However they might not have access to this during the interview stage, so it is a good idea to print off a number of copies to take with you to hand to your interviewers. 

If you have completed projects recently either at university or within work experience, make sure to bring samples of the work you completed to show the interview panel. Not only does this show off the hard work you completed, but it also shows that you are a good team player.


6. Plan out your day in advance

Planning out your day in advance means that you are ensuring nothing will go wrong on the day. This means you have plenty of time to choose your outfit, pack your bag and plan your journey to the interview. If you are travelling to an area that you have never visited before, it is a good idea to trial your journey a few days before so you can avoid traffic jams and getting lost along the way.


7. Practice your answers and body language

It’s important to make a positive and lasting impression during your interview to stand out from the competition. At home you can practice your answers with confidence and look at .  For some of you this might come naturally, but for others it may require a bit more practice in front of the mirror. Pay special attention to your smile, handshake and stride.

8. Sell yourself

The most difficult part of an interview is selling yourself, as this doesn’t come naturally to many of us. Whatever accomplishments you may have, don’t be modest about sharing them during your interview. The interviewers want to know if you will be the right fit and that you can bring something to the company, so they need to know all the reasons that you can provide that for them.


9. Handle difficult questions with confidence

If a difficult question comes up, don’t panic! It is perfectly fine to pause and ask the interviewers for a few moments so you can gather your thoughts. The employer will appreciate you taking the time to answer the question to the best of your ability, rather than rushing in and guessing an answer. Make sure to back up your answers with examples where possible.


10. Follow up with a thank you email

Once the interview is over, there are still a few things you can do to give yourself an advantage over the other candidates in securing the job. By sending a follow-up email to thank the interviewers for giving you their time is always a good idea as it shows them you are genuinely interested in the position and will keep you in the forefront of their minds.

If you haven’t heard back from them in two weeks or more, send an email or phone them up to ask for feedback. Remember that if you don’t get the job this time, it is a learning experience and you will get better with practice.

For more interview tips and how to tackle nerves, check out our video chat with the careers team at the North West Regional College.


Last but not least … Best of luck in your upcoming interviews, you are going to smash it!


Scroll to Top