What to do in an interview

Following on from ‘How to write a CV‘, hopefully you will have some interview call backs from handing them out.

Interview tips, how to, meeting the manager
Great you’ve got an interview! Don’t panic, and read theses tips…

They will offer a time for you to go in for an interview. Make sure you have given yourself about a week to hear back from them and make sure you’re available for up to two weeks. So when they do call you to arrange for an interview, they will expect you to be free for it (around three days time). Otherwise you may have to hand in your CV again to get back on top of the list!

The most common interview types are: one on one, group assessment, a panel, and a Skype interview.

Research, research, and more research for the interview!

First, you need to do some research before it. Don’t go charging in unprepared! You’ll frustrate the interviewer and not make a good first impression. So read over the job description and know what you’re bring interviewed for, they always have some key pointers that they look for in a person. Eg. A team player, friendly, optimistic.

Next you want to research the company, look for the facts and history. You may even want to check out other people’s reviews, but take them with a pinch of salt as reviews tend to be written by a certain type of audience. Great websites are Glassdoor.co.uk and even TheStudentRoom.com if you google search ‘interview at (company)’ they have statistics on salary rates and a personal rating on how they found working there.

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best

This is the motto I’m currently living by. Depending on the sector you’re interviewing for, they may really grill you. Especially if you’re going into a very demanding role! They may even throw in some ‘curve ball’ questions and try to break you under pressure, but just stand tall and try your best! Sometimes you may be really impressing them and you don’t realise it!

Generic Interview Questions

Write down all of the general interview questions you can think of; What are you strengths/weaknesses? What is an example of great/bad customer service? Why do you want this job? Why do you want to work here?

And answer them honestly, you can even give some examples if you haven’t got any personal experiences.

Don’t be late!

Always get there a minimum of 15 mins before your allocated time, unless they have specifically stated that there is no waiting room and have suggested an alternative. If you’re apply for a retail role, get there early to scope out the shop floor. They will be impressed that you’re taking an interest as to where things are, sometimes they would even ask you to put an outfit together! Plan your journey ahead and always take into account any traffic you may encounter that may make you late.

Dress the part

‘Dress for the job you want’ If you’re going for a managerial role, make sure you have a suit and you’re well-groomed. For a hospitality sectors interview it is imperative that you are well presented with your hair tied back and clean hands and nails, they expect you to be serving food remember! If it’s for a retail role, dressing like the clothes they have there is a great idea, but keep it smart! You want to mimic the vibe. So it looks like you’ll fit in, but also bare in mind that you want to make a good impression. If you’re having a Skype interview, WEAR PANTS. Don’t just dress your top half and sit there in your underwear, you need to feel confident. Although it won’t be likely; being asked whether you’re actually wearing pants or not may be a question!

Ultimately, the interviewer(s) want to get to know YOU, and how you tick. They will be analysing whether you will fit in with the company and it’s ethos, and the role you’ve applied for. They’ve asked you to come to an interview so they defiantly see something in you!

Good luck!


What to do in an interview

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